A hybrid menu that incorporates grits, chicken pot pie, spanakopita and souvlaki— and doesn’t have any regrets— is the brainchild of Timothy Hontzas, an Alabama native and grandson of Greek immigrants.
Johnny’s Restaurant in Homewood, Alabama pays tribute to Hontzas’ immigrant grandfather, Johnny Hontzopoulos, who ran a restaurant in the 50s and 60s.
Hontzopoulos came to America from Greece on a cattle boat, jumping ship in New Orleans and beginning his own American odyssey.
He worked his way up in the restaurant business before starting his own successful restaurant.
But Hontzas has taken his iteration of the restaurant to the next level, adding his own southern flair to classic dishes like keftedakia (meatballs) and spanakopita.
Southern Foodways recently featured Hontzos and his restaurant, Johnny’s, in a short documentary video: