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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

ORAL HISTORY

Aleck Choraitis


Aleck Choraitis, owner of Andrew’s Bar-B-Q, came to Birmingham from Greece via Venezuela in 1957. He got into the restaurant business the first day he got to town, when he began work at his father-in-law, Bill DeMoes’s restaurant, La Paree. From there Aleck spent some years as chef at another Greek-owned restaurant in town, the famed Gold Nugget (now closed, many maintain that Harry Alexiou introduced fine dining to Birmingham with this restaurant and his popular burnt butter spaghetti). Andrew and Jimmy Morris (also Greek) opened Andrew’s Bar-B-Q in the 1940s, and Aleck bought it from them in 1969. After that, Aleck bought Gus’s Hot Dogs from its original owner, Gus Alexander. (George Nasiakos now owns Gus’s Hot Dogs; Aleck invited George down from Chicago to take over the hot dog stand, since Aleck wanted to devote his time to Andrew’s Bar-B-Q). It’s a family affair at Andrew’s Bar-B-Q and, while it’s definitely a barbecue joint, there are also traditional Greek-style chicken and southern vegetables on the menu. Ironically enough, Aleck’s particular brand of ‘que is always requested by his family when he travels back to Greece, where he also maintains a house and olive farm.

Date of interview:
2004-03-10 00:00

Interviewer:
Amy Evans

Photographer:

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