George's Restaurant - A Brief History

Jun. 07 - 20113 commentsBy admin

In 1936 a young Greek Cypriot named Michael Hannides left his seaside village, at the far eastern side of his sunny island, to seek his fortune in sunny Britain. After working as an ice cream salesman in Southampton, a baker in London and a 'chippie' in Wales ( where he learnt Welsh! ) He had finally saved enough money to launch a restaurant - dubbed George's after his second Christian name, that was in 1940.

Keeping the traditions alive

The first George's was a straightforward, no frills sort of place where the quality of food was paramount : people travelled miles to savour specialities like Spaghetti and Meatballs, Michael worked all the hours God made to build up his business and establish his reputation.

A new ring road meant that George's had to be demolished though a bigger and better building rose up in its place. Michael incapable of being idle used up the waiting time by making tables for the new Restaurant! These days Michael Hannidies, well into his eighties is content to work when he can, leaving the running of the business to his son Peter, who is also a partner. He still keeps an eye on things most mornings, maybe doing a spot of buying at the market or borrowing the chef's hat to devise delicious minestrone soup.

Still hale and hearty though virtually "retired", he looks back on a medley of memories, especially from the heyday of the big liners, when he played host to a wide range of customers - from Coroner, Mr D.H.B.Harfield to merchant seamen like the young Tommy Steele.

The list of rich and famous to have graced the tables of George's Restaurant is as long as it is distinguished including - Edward Heath, Matthew Le Tissier, Marion Pahars along with the other Saints players, Alan Ball ( before his move! ) Sue Pollard, Leo Mckern, Timothy West, former racing driver Derek Warwick, Nick Park of Wallace and 'Gromit' fame and Andrew Davies from 'Pride and Prejudice'.

As one of the city's longest surviving privately owned restaurants enters it's second half century, we aim to offer what it's founder offered right from the very start - the very best.