Classic Royko: Shortage Of Short Greeks Ruining Us

Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago - Mike Royko

One of our favorite articles from the days when Mike Royko was writing for the Chicago Tribune (back when newspapers were sold in print only!) is "Shortage Of Short Greeks Ruining Us."

In the December 05, 1986 article, Royko disparaged Yuppie-managed restaurants owned by corporate chains that had invaded the city of late. He'd just eaten at a substandard chain restaurant where the manager was lounging around "doing lunch" in a booth.

...What they don't do is provide service. That's because they are not short Greeks. You probably wonder what that means. I'll explain. If that corporation expects the restaurant to succeed, it should fire the young restaurant-hotel degree holder. Or demote him to cleaning washrooms.

It should then go to my friend Sam Sianis, who owns Billy Goat's Tavern, and say: 'Do you know a short Greek who wants to manage a restaurant?' Sam will say: 'Shoo. I send you one my cousins. Jus' got here from old country.' "

Follow the Chicago Tribune link below to read the whole story.