In 1973 Spiros Alexopoulos, a recent immigrant from Greece, who used to work as a server in a Lincoln Park restaurant, joined forces with Ralph Fisher, a cook and co-worker, in order to open up a small restaurant for breakfast, with a deli and ice cream parlor, they named Nookies as in “breakfast nook.” The original Nookies opens its doors, on Wells street in Old Town, at the same location it is today, with less than 40 seats and with newspaper clippings covering the walls for décor.
Endless work weeks and dedication overcome lack of capital and experience. Lines of people waiting for tables start forming outside. Spiros soon is able to renovate and expand the restaurant to 100 seats, establishing Nookies on Wells, as it’s known today, as the Old Town’s neighborhood spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Chicago mayors, politicians, actors from Second City down the street, TV reporters, sports announcers and artists mingle with ordinary local folk and out-of-town visitors to experience a Chicago Original.
In 1982 Spiros opens Nookies Too in Lincoln Park. The restaurant is a success from day one. It soon also becomes a cornerstone of that community.
In 1985, Spiros’ two sons, Nick and Peter Alexopoulos decide that, the restaurant business is such a family affair, so connected with their lives, they open Nookies Tree in Lakeview. With a revitalized menu and new ideas, that location, soon becomes the flagship of the Nookies Family of restaurants.
In 1992 Spiros retires. Nick and Peter ask Michael Mitsoglou, a family friend who shares the same passion for the restaurant business, to partner with them in continuing the tradition.
Today Nick, Peter and Michael are planning the opening of the fourth Nookies on the corner of Bryn Mawr and Winthrop, in the middle of the Historic District of Edgewater, in Chicago’s north side.
Same family, same good food cooked from the soul, same warmth and respect for the customer.
Check out us here: