When The Great Greek Cafe opened in
mid-1984, Ventura Boulevard then was a sleepy concourse, largely devoid of
The Great Greek Cafe dramatically
helped change the boulevard's somnolence into a newly-emerging Restaurant
Reason: Prior to 1984, many west side
restaurateurs feared to tread within the geographic parameters of an area
comedians often joked about.
Restaurateur Ernie Criezis, who had
created 15 major non-Greek showplace restaurants in Paris, France...
Houston, Texas... and the City of Angels, thought better of the Valley for
his first west coast location, in 1984.
Ernie, a former adman and journalist
raised in New York, who flourished as a businessman in Houston over 22
years, was set on designing The Great Greek Cafe as no other in the world.
Much of its thematic decor centers on the contemporary feats of the Greeks
in battle and in politics during the 20th Century.
Its cuisine since its inception
evolved to herald it as the premiere Greek restaurant in Los Angeles,
winning for it more unsolicited awards than any other Greek restaurant in
Los Angeles - and, perhaps the nation and the world.
Unfortunately, Ernie Criezis passed
away in the Spring of 1996 but his spirit continues in the Greek tradition
at The Great Greek.
The rare collection of original,
political poster graphics displayed on the walls are from Ernie Criezis'
private collection. They depict four turbulent war periods in recent Greek
history - the War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire, World War I,
World War II, and the postwar Greek Civil War when Greek Royalists fought
against Greek Communist forces.
Certain Communist posters here on
view, considered contraband by the Greek Junta then in power when Criezis
spirited them out of Greece, do NOT reflect the owner's political view,
nor are they meant to offend Greeks of other political
They are representative of an epic
time-frame in Greece's political struggles - an era when valiant Greek
heroes of varied political belief emerged.
Please feel free to browse our site
and see our selections. As always, thank you for your