Villa Owner Celebrates 22 Years in Business by Laura Bush Jenkins



For Savvas Rallis and his wife Irene, the dream of owning a restaurant was a 22 year process which came to fruition in Elizabeth City.
Before owning The Villa on Halstead Boulevard, the couple got their start in the vibrant Greek community of West Haven, CT.  Though away from his parents and extended family, Savvas joined his sister who also immigrated from the scenic beachfront area of Aegion.
For Savvas, learning English was difficult because there are no similarities between English and Greek.  While working and living his daily life, he gradually became fluent.
After Savvas and Irene moved to Myrtle Beach, SC and worked arduously for many years in the restaurant industry,he learned about an option to buy a restaurant.  He, Irene, and their then eleven year-old son, Michael moved five hours away to begin their venture.
"It was an opportunity here, and I succeeded [acquiring it,]" Savvas recalls.
Together, the family re-opened Vickie's Villa on the North Side of town, in the area presently East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine.  Before the 17 Bypass opened, the property was originally a 1948 hotel with an adjoining restaurant, named after the former owner's daughter.
Six years ago, "The Villa" moved to its existing location, which Savvas considered "better in the long term." While the facility he acquired on Halstead Boulevard was previously known as "the Best Steakhouse in Town," Savvas was concerned how ownership of the building changed every six or seven months.
"We found solutions to why it kept closing," he explains.  The restaurant opened quietly with no ribbon cutting or fanfare, and continued -presently employing a team of 15 people.
The Villa is well-known for its homemade pizza and all-day breakfast, as well as irresistible cheesecakes on display as guests enter.  Open 7 days a week- except for Thanksgiving and Christmas- come enjoy the family atmosphere without having to worry about doing the dishes at home.  

A soon-to-be mother of three, Laura Bush Jenkins recalls enjoying The Villa's homemade pepperoni pizza with a meticulous student helper during proofreading sessions of her book, Undercover Patriot.
Villa Owner Celebrates 22 Years in Business by Laura Bush Jenkins Villa Owner Celebrates 22 Years in Business  by Laura Bush Jenkins Reviewed by kensunm on 7:00:00 PM Rating: 5

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