The same year John & his wife Elena moved their brood from suburban Chicago to the glorious Gulf Coast City of Clearwater, they bought an outparcel on what was once a sprawling orange grove. Legendary developers Charles Rutenberg & Peter Monroe brought “The Fountains” to Palm Harbor in the early 80’s – John & Elena loved the “Spanish- Mission style” of architecture & decided this is was the place for their new family-dining concept restaurant.
Tiffany’s opened to the public on Friday, October 13th, 1983. That date was a very special anniversary for John – exactly thirty years to the day – Friday, October 13th, 1953 – John made a daring escape from the Stalinist regime and Orwellian society that was the People’s Republic of Albania. Most folks fear “Friday The 13th”. Not John. He loved it. That was liberation day for him!And so it began.
Mama Elena in the kitchen makin’ & bakin’ the bread from scratch – twice a day. John driving across the Bay at an ungodly hour to buy fresh produce from the Tampa wholesale markets. Despina waiting on tables. Liz seating patrons & running the register. Chubby Paul in the back peelin’ potatoes & shoving cheeseburgers down his throat. Cousin Louka comes along & starts slingin’ hash.
Truly a family affair. Palm Harbor’s Rotary, Lions, & Kiwanis Clubs have at one time or another called us home. Folks who came as little tikes with their parents now come with kids of their own.