Nick Panos Buys a Big Boy
Panos knows all about running local restaurants. He also owns Smokehouse Blues. His father owns the Chelsea Grille, his mother owns the Village Kitchen, his aunt owns the Broken Egg, and the list grows almost exponentially if you start adding in extended family.
Nick's has more than a dozen different kinds of pancakes, including buttermilk, fresh cinnamon apple, and what the menu bills as Nick's Favorite, pecan banana. It also serves seven kinds of waffles and nine kinds of French toast, plus all kinds of omelets and crepes, and for the lunch crowd, a large selection of sandwiches, soups, and salads. Breakfast and lunch items are available till 3 p.m.--when Nick's closes for the day.
"For quite a few years I've wanted a family restaurant," Panos says. By that he means not just a place where families are welcome, but a place where the owner can have a family. "It was kind of a quality-of-life thing," he says. "You run a bar and grill, you don't leave till eleven or twelve at night." While he's single and doesn't have kids, he'd like to someday--but "if I want to raise kids, we gotta get another concept going that'll be conducive to having kids and spending time with them."
When the former Big Boy franchisees were evicted in mid-July, "my dad told me to take a look at this place," Panos says. "He told me to just do breakfast and lunch. He said, 'You'll do well with that.'" Nick's is open eight hours a day. "I'd just rather get up early, get the day done, and be able to go out and have a personal life."