Simcoe staple celebrates 30 years
General manager Nick Zografos and the rest of the staff at The Barrel Pizza and Spaghetti House have reason to celebrate. The Simcoe eatery is celebrating its 30th year. JACOB ROBINSON/Simcoe Reformer
Much has changed in Norfolk County over the past three decades, but things at The Barrel Pizza and Spaghetti House have remained the same.
The recipes, sauces, even four employees are still around from the official opening back in 1987.
“We’ve been here for a long time,” said general manager Nick Zografos.
“We have a lot of regular customers and we’re grateful to all of them. It’s nice to see family and friends coming in on a regular basis.”
The restaurant Norfolk enjoys today began almost by chance. Tom Daikos stumbled upon Simcoe in the 1980s and along with wife Nia decided to move from the Toronto area (Richmond Hill) to the small but growing community.
“He had already developed the concept, so it was something he had in the back of his mind,” Zografos added.
When construction on the Queensway restaurant was complete, many of the same folks that were instrumental in the process returned to enjoy the fruits of their labour. In fact, they still do.
“The construction part of it was all done locally and the tradesmen that did all the work here, they’re still coming in with their families,” Zografos said. “That’s awesome for them to come in and say ‘we did the plumbing here’ or ‘we did the electrical here’.”
The Barrel management team has remained a family affair. Zografos married into the family and 10 years ago sold his Toronto-based business to become part of the team.
From the minute he first stepped into the place, Zografos knew right away The Barrel would carry on for years to come. It currently holds the No. 1 ranking among all Simcoe restaurants on TripAdvisor.
“The direction was laid out and they were all extremely passionate about it,” he added. “When you have a successful, established business, it makes it easy to carry on, especially when you love what you do. We all love dealing with the public, talking to them and seeing their faces and watching their kids grow up.”
One of the things The Barrel has long mandated – outside of great food of course – is the sponsorship of local programs. Their name and/or logo is a fixture on many area sports uniforms, golf tournaments and fund-raising drives.
“We just like to be everywhere in the community to do our part, help out as much as we can,” Zografos said.
A special 30th anniversary celebration will be held at the restaurant from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday.
“The message is just, we’re happy to be here,” Zografos said. “We’re happy to be a big part of the community and we just want as many people as possible to come out and celebrate with us.”