Gus Grigoriadis always seemed a satisfied businessman, running his Pop’s Family Restaurant in a rented building on New Haven Avenue. His family worked beside him daily and on holidays, including each Thanksgiving, when he serves a free Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless and needy.
Yes, with a busy restaurant and close family, he seemed content.
Today, Grigoriadis doesn’t just look satisfied: He looks happy and a little more relaxed inside the new Pop’s Family Restaurant that recently opened at 134 Old Gate Lane in a building that the family owns.
Grigoriadis said the main reason he moved from New Haven Avenue to Old Gate Lane was because he wanted to own and not rent his building.
He looked at his grandson, Stavros Kikis, 11, who was helping out last week, and smiled.
“Now we’re working for Stavros, not the landlord,” Grigoriadis said with a laugh.
Pop’s has been a Milford staple since 1991. Back then Grigoriadis opened the eatery with a partner who had a connection to another donut shop in Milford. That partner’s father — known as “Pop” — had a reputation for making good donuts. Thus, the name of the new shop became “Pop’s” and stayed that way long after the partnership had ended.
“But I’m a grandfather now,” Grigoriadis said, pointing out that he has two grandchildren and therefore the name has come to fit him, too.
At first, Pop’s served only donuts, muffins and coffee. But that expanded over the years, said Ipakoi Grigoriadis, Gus’s daughter.
The new Pop’s on Old Gate Lane is bright and new, with a soft-green, open dining area.
Seating hasn’t really increased over the former location, but there is more parking, and location is better, Grigoriadis said.
It’s most definitely a family restaurant. The staff includes three daughters, a son-in-law and Grigoriadis’ wife, Julia, plus a host of others.
Ipakoi said she pretty much grew up here, helping out the family. She was six years old when they bought the place; that was 22 years ago.
During Blizzard Nemo when travel was more than difficult on local streets, it was Grigoriadis, his son-in-law and Stavros manning the restaurant.
“I was cooking, Stavros was washing dishes, and his father was serving,” Grigoriadis said.
Stavros is third generation Pop’s and said he feels it an honor to be connected to the well-known Milford restaurant.
Besides the location, there is something else new about Pop’s. The menu has grown again, now offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. At the old location, the doors closed after lunch at about 3 p.m. Now the restaurant is open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Regulars had no problem following Pop’s from the old location to the new one because it isn’t much more than around the corner and down the street. “And there are new faces too,” Grigoriadis said.
The new eatery is getting positive reviews on websites:
“Pop’s has always been a great place for breakfast and lunch,” one customer posted. “Now, in a brand new building, Pop’s has evolved into a top notch, three meals a day venue. The staff is friendly and attentive, the food fresh and delicious. Specials are worth special attention.”
Another wrote, “Pretty hard to beat this place for a reliable, no-nonsense breakfast. This is diner-style food done well. Omelets are fantastic, service is good.