Victoria Bouloubasis explores the history behind some of Raleigh’s longest-running restaurants, founded by Greek refugees fleeing civil war.
In the early 1900s through the 1940s, Raleigh boasted dozens of restaurants started by Greek immigrants and refugees who, fleeing war, turned to food for sustenance and livelihood, a touch and taste of home. In them they found a niche in a thriving downtown community hungry for home-cooked lunches.
Restaurants were the answer for someone with limited English, providing opportunities for whole families. Or as Ernest Charles says as we hustle through a back screen door into the Roast Grill’s tiny kitchen, “What does a Greek do when he meets another Greek? They open a restaurant!”
Many of these eateries have slipped into history, but the Roast Grill and the Mecca still survive in downtown Raleigh. You can read more in the News and Observer here.