Troy’s Family Restaurant: A Love Story
By Janet Miller
Troy’s Family Restaurant in Clairemont Square is more than a restaurant. It’s love in restaurant form: the love of the family that has owned Troy’s for all its 39 years, love of the community for the spot many have been coming to for decades, and love of the owners, Georgia Likomitros and her son Pete for their employees and customers.
James Likomitros and his wife Georgia opened Troy’s in its current location in 1973. The couple had immigrated from Greece by way of Montreal (where their son Pete was born) ending up in Chula Vista where, with a partner, James started the original “Jimmy’s “restaurant. After a year or so, he sold his interest in Jimmy’s and opened Troy’s.
Almost 4 decades later, 3 of the original employees—2 cooks and the kitchen manager --are still working at Troy’s. Waitresses Nancy and Jodi have been there 32 years. According to Pete, many of his employees have been with him 10 years or more. That’s unheard of in the restaurant world.
That’s where the love comes in. Pete says “We treat our employees like friends, like family. We even argue like family sometimes,” he said with a laugh, “but we all treat each other with respect, and care about each other.”
There’s a lot of love coming from the customers too. Sitting chatting with Pete we were interrupted countless times by customers who stopped to say hello to Pete, exchange a quick bit of news or a hug. I heard waitresses and patrons calling each other by name, asking after a spouse or new baby. Pete knew everyone, had a smile for everydiv and clearly enjoyed the interaction with the diverse afternoon crowd. “I knew from the time I could reach the register, I was a ‘front man’. You have to love people in this business and I love people,” Pete said.
About 4 years ago, Pete’s dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He continued to work as long as possible. Sadly, he passed away not long ago. Several of the patrons who stopped by to speak to Pete offered their condolences for the loss of the man they had known as “Jimmy” for decades.
It takes a special family to be able to work together day in and day out. Although Pete left for a time and tried a few other things, coming back to the family business was the right thing for him. His sister Mary works at Troy’s part time too. It’s a testament to their love for each other and their business that Pete and his mother Georgia work 6 days a week with no vacations to keep Clairemont’s landmark restaurant humming along.
When I asked Pete about future plans, he mentioned perhaps some time off or a long road trip, but it was clear his heart is here. “I grew up here at Troy’s,” Pete said, “I have buddies here I’ve known for 20-30 years. We have the greatest clientele in the world and I love working with my mother, who is “Momma” to everyone in Clairemont. She inspires me every day. I love Clairemont!”
Clairemont loves Troy’s and the Likomitros family too!