Michael’s father, Nick Anagnos, was born in 1935 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His Greek immigrant parents owned and operated a shoe and hat business. It was a good source of funds to make a living because even in the depression gentlemen wore hats. Although new shoe sales were not booming, shoe repair was at an all-time high with the depression. His father soon discovered that he could open a restaurant like his cousin Steve and run his own business.
Fast forward to 1958 when Nick falls in love and marries Michael’s mother Veronica. She was also the child of immigrant parents. Her parents were from the Mediterranean Island Crete, off the coast of Greece. Michael’s parents moved to Lake Geneva and opened their first restaurant called the “Olympic”. Veronica was the waitress and Nick ran everything in the kitchen.
Fast forward ten years and now there is a family of six. All worked the restaurant together as a family.
Although the Olympic was an American Continental Menu the Greek heritage was alive and a main staple was something called Skordalia. Mike’s Yia Yia (Greek for Grandmother) from the island of Crete would make this delicious delight at home. It was used as a cure-all elixir as common as aspirin in their home. Michael recalls, “When anyone at our house or the restaurant got sick, they were given Skordalia and told to go home and eat and get better.”
Our little restaurant grew from 50 seat diner to a full-scale operation with a new location on the lake front with a seating capacity of over 600. Today the restaurant has over 130 servers on staff for the summer season. It’s an amazing operation.