Ann Arbor Weather:
Monday November 30, 2020
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Perry Porikos

From Chelsea Grill to Valiant Bar

All in the Greek family

by Shelley Daily

Published in March, 2019

Perry Porikos says his longtime family friend Gina Pantely knew "how much I loved Chelsea," when she approached him last year about taking over her Chelsea Grill. Pantely, who'd overseen its reopening almost a decade ago after the Chelsea Shopping Center fire, "decided it was time to put her energy into one place [she owns Ann Arbor's Broken Egg], travel more, and enjoy life," he says. Porikos reopened as the Valiant Bar & Grill, in December.

Porikos, sixty-one, owns four bar-restaurants near the U-M campus, including the iconic Brown Jug. But he says Chelsea's always been "one of my favorite places to get away" and that taking on the new restaurant was a "no-brainer." "If you love it, it's the best business!" says Porikos.

Valiant's name pays homage to U-M's fight song, and Porikos is a fiercely loyal fan. He played soccer for U-M after arriving in the U.S. from Greece in the late 1970s, and his son Niko, a recent grad, played Wolverine hockey. Memorabilia--from various sports and teams, not just the Maize and Blue--decorates Valiant's interior, including, by the bar, a photo mural of the 1937 MLB All-Star team.

"I want this to be a comfortable and friendly place where you can get good food, a cold beer, and watch the game," Porikos says. He took the most popular items from his other restaurants to create Valiant's menu, which includes burgers, sandwiches, entrees, salads, and pizza.

Porikos once owned eleven restaurants--and worked up to fourteen hours a day. At one time, he estimates, "upwards of seventy percent of Ann Arbor's restaurant owners were Greek." Pantely was "one of the first people I met when I came to America," he says, and she became a mentor.

Now Porikos finds himself in that role, receiving thank-you emails from some of the thousands of employees who've worked for him over the years. "My greatest fulfillment comes from working with the kids," he says. "If I can take someone or something and help make it better, that keeps me going. It's not just about flipping a burger."

Valiant Bar & Grill, 1120 S. Main (Chelsea Shopping Center). (734) 475-7714. Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun. noon-10 p.m. Karaoke Sat. evenings. valiantgrill.com     (end of article)

[Originally published in March, 2019.]

 



 
Bookmark and Share
Print Comment E-mail

You might also like:

The Pot Gold Rush, Continued
New places from high school friends and a hedge fund
Shelley Daily
Today's Events
Downtown in Winter
Small businesses give the city its character. Can they survive until spring?
James Leonard
Stephen Joy
Covid "long hauler"
John Hilton
The Indivisibles
They mobilized to fight Trump's agenda-and to keep themselves sane.
Randy H. Milgrom
How to Vote
And how to make sure it's counted.
James Leonard
Robbin Pott of Pott Farms
Creating sustainable livelihoods in the cannabis industry
Trilby MacDonald
Crime Map
A clickable, zoomable map
Food Gatherers pivots to meet rising needs with fewer resources
Trilby MacDonald
A Shift in Care
For people in recovery, the pandemic brought new dangers-but also bred resilience.
Ella Bourland
spark ann arbor
Delux Drapery offers window treatments in Ann Arbor, Michigan like draperies, curtains, shutters & H
a guide to senior living and services