I was saddened to hear last week that Krasadis, the best Greek restaurant in Norwich, was closing after 28 years.
Krasadis was part of my life for many years with most major events in my life being celebrated at the restaurant and we got to know the lovely Cypriot owners' family very well over that time.
To start at the beginning – we were in Norwich one evening and, on impulse, decided to go for a kebab at a little restaurant/take-away. We had never been there before so were not sure what to expect but the evening turned out to be more than we expected!
We placed our order and sat with drinks, listening to the background Greek music which was increasingly drowned out by raised voices, in Greek, in what was obviously a row going on between the two men running the restaurant! Suddenly, one of the men unplugged the music centre, tucked it under his arm and with a final riposte in Greek, stormed out of the restaurant.
We sat quietly, waiting for the next move, and the other chap eventually came over, full of apologies, with our meal which was very good! After a little while, someone turned up with another music centre and the music was resumed. We thought no more of this.
About four months’ later, we were again in Norwich one evening and just up the road from the original Greek restaurant, we noticed a new one had opened so decided to give it a go. As we walked in, we recognised the owner as being the man who had been left in the other restaurant and, as it turned out, this particular evening was his opening night and we were his first customers!
We got talking to him and his wife and were told the story of what had happened, the row between him (Dimitri known as Jimi) and his brother-in-law and his decision to go it alone.
We had such a good meal and got on so well with Jimi and Christa that we made this restaurant our ‘local’, visiting once a week normally. As we lived within walking distance, it was often a spur of the moment decision to visit.
Over the years we watched Jimi and Christa’s family grow until they had three children, two girls and a boy who used to appear shyly in the restaurant to say hello to us. We spent Christmas Eve with the family most years – they used to shut the restaurant early and invite selected friends to a delightful evening of laughter and drinks – many times we staggered home at 2 am full of Cyprus brandy!
A number of momentous occasions were celebrated at Krasadis – surprise parties for birthdays and family get togethers and Jimi and Christa shared in some of the most joyous and also the saddest moments of our lives.
I understand the reasons for the family closing the restaurant and send my best wishes to Christa for her recovery but hope that Lucas will be able to continue the tradition of hospitality and friendship for many years to come.