||Mike's Place: A diner with a smile
Mike's Place opened in 1944 by George Corpus. It was originally called the St. Louis Grill. Upon opening the diner, Corpus had a business philosophy to present a home-cooked meal at a price reasonable to the working man. This philosophy is still in effect today under the ownership of Ted Stavrakis, who took over the business from Lou and Helen Sabraccos three years ago.
"My philosophy is to make everyone happy. The menu has pretty much whatever you want to eat," said Stavrakis.
Unlike some local corporate diners, you won't find mass-produced meals at Mike's Place. For example if you order a chicken salad sandwich from this diner, each employee actually cuts the chicken and mixes it right on the spot. However, larger establishments usually have a tub of chicken salad pre-processed.
Mike's Place also serves meals for people of all ages. Children may enjoy chicken tenders, deluxe cheeseburgers and hotdogs at reasonable prices that parents will enjoy too. Adults are sure to crave real turkey breast sandwiches or Mike's Mega Burgers, which are crammed with ½ pound of fresh, Angus beef prepared daily.
Proud to be part of the local community, in early winter months, the streets near the diner are decorated with festive holiday lights. Furthermore, each year in early May, the diner participates in "Hon Fest," a spring festival, which was inspired by the movie "Hairspray." Women wear their hair in beehive up-dos from the '50s and merchants sell products on the sidewalks.
"It's a lot of fun and really helps bring local businesses together," said Stavrakis.
The diner is located on West 36th Street in Baltimore. According to Stavrakis, business expectations are good because the neighborhood is likely to be considered the next Federal Hill. When he first moved to the area, homes were in the $30,000 to $40,000 range, now, they are around $125,000. Perhaps the only thing that could be improved about their location is the availability of parking spaces.
"Our business might be better if we had a couple of parking lots. We have talked about it for a long time, but don't have the property available," said Stavrakis.
Now that your taste-buds are probably craving one of the delicious choices off the menu at Mike's Place, come down, but don't be late because their hours are from 5:30 — 2 p.m. everyday, except Friday's when they are open until 7:30 p.m.
1102 West 36th Street (Falls Road)
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