PHOTO BY JACQUI L. HERSHBERGER
Lefteris Charalampidis and Maria Theodoridou are the new managers at Kidron Town & Country restaurant.
By Jacqui L. Hershberger | DGKN contributor
KIDRON The Kidron Town and County Restaurant, in the basement of the store at 4959 Kidron Road, is a popular breakfast and lunch place for the community and for those passing through. The home-style restaurant features traditional Amish breakfast and lunches, including sausage gravy and biscuits, pancakes, bacon, hamburgers, hearty dinners, and Troyer’s homemade pies.
Now, thanks to some unique circumstances, the restaurant has added Greek items to the menu, cooked up by a couple who arrived here from Greece this past fall.
“We are the first Greek Amish restaurant,” said Ranee Yoder, who is the manager of the restaurant and co-owns the store with her husband, Larry.
Lefteris Charalampidis, whose first name is pronounced “Left Eddy”, and his wife, Maria Theodoridou, heard from his first cousin and local resident, Tim Rohrer, how most restaurants in the United States were looking for help. In Greece, the couple owned several businesses, including a restaurant, and they were struggling to keep their establishments afloat since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After COVID, everything changed,” Lefteris said.
“For two winters we were shut down or could do carryout only,” Maria added.
Rohrer said the entire country shut down and no one was making any money.
“And then, when it kind of opened up, people just didn’t have money to go out to eat,” he said.
Born in the United States, Lefteris had maintained his U.S. citizenship, and he and his wife filled out the necessary paperwork and arrived in October.
After hearing about the opening at the Kidron restaurant, they applied. They were lured by the shorter workday than the 16-hour days they were used to. They have worked in the food and restaurant business most of their lives. When Lefteris was growing up, his father owned a 1,000-seat place that held weddings and other large events. He helped wait tables and learned how to manage a restaurant. In 1999, he opened his own restaurant and kept it going for over 20 years. He and his wife make a great pair for the restaurant industry as she has her master’s degree as a nutritionalist.
“I can’t speak (English) but I can learn here,” Lefteris said. “All my life, I’m a boss in Greece. I have three businesses, and I work out of the kitchen. I know everything, but I make nothing in the kitchen in Greece. But now I have the opportunity to make something good from my father and my mother’s recipes because they cooked all their lives and I like very much to cook.”
A popular item that they have added to the menu at the Kidron Town & Country restaurant is the Greek Burger. Some other new options are Schnitzel–a breaded and fried chicken served with a cream sauce, Souvlaki—meaty pieces of grilled pork, and Baklava–layered pastry dessert made of filo pastry, filled with chopped nuts, and sweetened with syrup or honey.