With Passion and Family Driven Determination, A Small 60 Seat Pub Grows into a 660 Seat Iconic Restaurant.
Popeye's Galley and Grog was opened in July of 1971 by Nick and Veronica Anagnos, a married couple with four small children. They both worked morning, noon and night serving a small menu featuring great burgers, homemade chili, fresh chopped coleslaw and of course, lots of ice cold beer. Being a visionary and feeling that Lake Geneva would be growing, Nick bought adjacent properties in anticipation of building the best “go to” place in the area. A Disco bar, Olive Oyls, was built in 1978 and provided an intriguing nightclub experience in Lake Geneva. Olive Oyls was transformed into a dining room providing the popular Popeye’s with much needed additional seating in 1985. For more seating Popeye’s built an outdoor deck which was later enclosed to offer seating to the increasing year round clientele that visited Lake Geneva. Once the children became of age, they joined their hard working parents in helping the ever growing restaurant succeed. In 1988, the last expansion brought another eighty plus seats and aptly named for the founding father, Nick’s Market.
The Birth of Popeye’s Famous Outdoor Rotisserie
Nick and Veronica brought the rotisserie to Popeye's, a Greek Easter tradition, in 1985. It started small and was operational Easter Sunday through October. Countless sticks of fresh flame roasted chicken were cooked daily. Farm Raised Pigs roasted all day Saturday and Spring Lamb was a traditional Sunday faire between Easter and September. For authentic BBQ flavor, Popeye’s uses real hard wood charcoal and Nick’s Original Secret Recipe Spice Rub. Truly one of the best bbq flavors you have ever eaten. Since the original rotisserie first opened, Popeye’s has expanded and now holds an amazing fifteen sticks and also serves the mouthwatering signature roasted items Seven Days a Week, Year Round.
Nick was a true Midwest restaurant icon. Respected for his business style, exceptional eye for detail, and strong insistence for customer service, Nick put Popeye’s on the map. Popeye’s was not only a place to eat, but a “must visit destination” stop for those visiting the Lake Geneva area. Despite Nick’s passing in 2011, the family and supporting staff’s passion, commitment, and dedication will undoubtedly keep Nick’s vision and the Anagnos Family tradition not only alive and well, but help it thrive and grow. Much as Nick made improvements based on guests needed, sons Dimitri and Michael have been working diligently updating and expanding the Popeye’s legacy. Currently, an additional hundred seats have been added outside to provide the public a true “lakefront dining experience.” A name you grew up with, a place you fell in love with, a memory you will cherish and pass down. Popeye’s Galley and Grog.