In 1905, Peter Mallios, a 13 year old boy from Arcadia, Greece, headed for America. Knowing no English and having no chaperone to greet him in New York, he was not permitted to leave the ship and was returned to Greece. Back in Greece but undeterred, he boarded the next ship headed for America. This time, on arrival, he yelled “Uncle! Uncle!” at the first man he saw, ran off the ship and disappeared into the crowd.
Many years later, Peter, a World War I Veteran and self educated successful restauranteur, met the lovely, young Helen Doukas in Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania. Helen Doukas came to American from Sparta, Greece, on September 15, 1921, at the age of 17. Helen was detained at Ellis Island for over a month waiting for her Uncle to escort her to Edwardsville, Pennsylvania, where she would care for his children and teach them to speak Greek.
Years later in Wilkesbarre, she met Peter while taking tickets at a movie theater and they were married in 1928. After several devastating floods from the Susquehana River, Peter and Helen left Pennsylvania in 1940 with their three children, Margarita, Dimitri, and George.
Before 1939, TrioDC was actually a pharmacy. The pharmacy moved to the old Westminster Hotel, and a luncheonette named Trio was born, named for the three partners. In 1950, “Mr. Pete” and his wife, Helen, bought Trio Restaurant with a partner, who has since passed away. “Rita”, Dimitri and George all worked their way through college.
In 1960, Rita’s husband, Gus Ladas (a restaurant man from Chicago), became a partner in the thriving Trio. Dimitri returned from the Army to pursue a successful career as an attorney representing local and national restaurants. George returned from the Navy to become a partner in the business. The business expanded to include the Fox and Hounds Lounge in 1967, Trio Pizza Shop in 1973, and the sidewalk cafes in 1975 (among the first in Washington, DC). Mr. Pete retired from the business in 1975 and Gus retired from the business in 1985.
Mr. Pete passed away in 1978. But Wednesdays, “Mrs. Pete” (now in her nineties) still has lunch at the Trio with family and friends. Tell her you enjoyed the story of her family when you see her!
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