Family Tradition Leads Popi's Expansion, Bradenton

The Ameres family has opened a new Greek-American homestyle restaurant in Bradenton -- the sixth in a collection of Popi's Family Restaurants.

Popi's Place VI is at 3561 W. 53rd Ave.

George Ameres, who manages Popi's III on U.S. 41, says his parents' work ethic is the key to the restaurants' success over the years.
"My parents were in the kitchen every day," he says. "Everything was made from scratch on a daily basis and we haven't lost that personal touch.''

His parents immigrated to the U.S. from Greece in 1969 and worked at a Brown Derby in Cleveland, OH. In 1975, they transferred to Florida with Brown Derby, then opened three Grapevine steak and seafood restaurants, and then opened their first Popi's in 1981.

"All us kids went off to college and got our degrees and then came back and went into business with our parents,'' says George Ameres. "Having the luxury of being in the business together gave us the opportunity to expand the way we have."

Although the first restaurant was sold to a family friend five years ago, patrons can find at least one Ameres at each eatery at any time.

"I manage Popi's III," explains Ameres. "My brother Andy manages IV in Ellenton, his twin sister Katima runs V in Ruskin and our baby brother Michael runs Popi's Place Too in Palmetto. Dad's managing VI."

Ameres says the space needed a lot of work to prepare it for opening. "When we came in we basically stripped everything. We put in s new floor, new ceiling tiles, kitchen equipment and booths. The interior reflects a contemporary nautical theme. All our booths and tables were handcrafted by a friend of ours -- Jay is a partner of Gilbert Construction.''

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: George Ameres, Popi's Family Restaurants

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