Restaurant community mourns death of prominent leader
Leo Christakos, a prominent figure in the Halifax-area restaurant scene, is being lauded by friends and peers for his good humour and commitment to local food producers.
Christakos, who opened the Brooklyn Warehouse, Battery Park Beer Bar, Ace Burger Co., and others including the popular Zapata's restaurant in the 1970s and '80s, died suddenly over the weekend.
"It is a blow to the Greek community and the restaurant community," says Evangelos Panopalis of the Athens Restaurant in Halifax, "He was really talented guy, who had it all together. He was charasmatic, with a smile on his face for everyone." Christakos was born in Canada and he grew up in the restaurant business run by his immigrant parents, according to Panopalis.
“Deeply saddened to hear of the untimely passing of Leo Christakos this week,” said Michael Howell, executive director at Devour The Food Film Fest, on Facebook.
“He was a longtime Slow Food Nova Scotia member and a colleague for many years in the N.S. restaurant business. Much love to his family. He will be missed.”
Christakos studied design and graphics technologies and visual communications at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He was president and general manager of the PaperChase NewsStand Cafe on Blowers Street in Halifax from 1986 to 2003.
“(I) developed the concept and implemented the establishment of both the newsstand operation in 1986, and later the cafe section in 2003,” Christakos wrote on LinkedIn.
His adventures with his bestknown food operations started in 2007 with the Brooklyn Warehouse, opened with his son, George Christakos.
“Never been on such a ride ever in my life!” he said at the time.
“Well, except maybe when I learned how to operate a reachtruck and forklift at the age of 45. That was cool!”