Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Remember The Lighthouse?

Lisa Kotula made a comment the other day about missing the spinach pie from The Lighthouse, which is now the Six Burner on Main and...is it Vine? I can't recall the cross street, but I feel sure I could drive home there with my eyes closed, as I probably have many times

George Vlasidis was the ever-present owner who seemed to never go home. The Lighthouse was a family place, with lots of George's kids working there through the years. His wife was always there, too, though you rarely saw her come out of the kitchen. George was intermittently gracious to respectful and loyal patrons and appropriately bossy to presumptuous college actors who strode into his restaurant and started pushing tables together without asking permission.

There was a decade or so when The Lighthouse was THE after-show hangout for the theatre community. I don't really know why. It was a place where you could show up with a big group. Perhaps it was the menu that had something for everybody--authentic Greek dishes, a big selection of pastas, sandwiches, appetizers, etc. The food was not fancy or very creative. It was plentiful and cheap. They just had a real potpourri to pick from and their prices were great. I particularly remember their marinara sauce. It was divine, thick and rich and perfectly spiced with just the right amount of tender tomato chunks and made fresh every day by either George or his wife.

For a time, it just seemed to be the place to go. I'm sure that there's some hip new place that has become the new theatre hangout. I wouldn't know, because I hardly ever do shows anymore, and I go out after shows even less! But I have many fond memories of The Lighthouse.

11 comments:

JB said...

ah yes- nothing really took the place of the Lighthouse, George was so patient with us all and the prices were cheep and it was between VCU, B'dale, theatre IV - good location. You saw everyone evertime you went in. (not always a good thing) and Davis and Main was like that in the real olden days. I miss the chicken parm sandwich there. It rocked and the saganaki flaming cheese. I know other places you can get it but it just isn't the same.
I celebrated my 30th Birthday there (10 years ago- yikes!!)

hoosier steve said...

I forgot about the saganaki, that was wonderful. And the spinach pies, I had a weakness for the cheeseburgers, and well I will be honest, the fact that George would be pouring my beer before I even got in the door was both frightening and wonderful.

I have many many wonderful memories of The Lighthouse and many lost memories as well.




It was the BRICK!!!!
(not everyone will get that but I know JB will)

JB said...

ah, the brick joke worked everytime at the Lighthouse. We were the cutest ones in the room when we tag team told that joke.

Jacquie said...

I must know what the Brick joke is!

I loved George...I remember we called him the grumpy Greek...in a loving way.

I still miss the eggplant dishes.

I seem to remember that he was going to open a place in Brandermill...does anyone know if he ever did? I don't think he left the area?

Oh, JB...I had my 30th birthday there too...just a few years back.

Janine Serresseque said...

I loved that George would put people's head shots up in the restaurant. Made me feel like a celebrity!

Robyn said...

Oh, I miss The Lighthouse! Janine, remember how we used to say "let's go someplace new" and then we would end up there every time? And playing pick up at the bar? I also have a vague recollection of dancing on the bar, singing "New York, New York" late one night.

The chicken parmesan subs were the greatest ever! And George's spaghetti ala Greek was better than Joe's Inn (and Joe's is pretty damn good).

And yes, it was nice to have your drink waiting for you. (For some reason the Cheers theme song is playing in my head.)

pnlkotula said...

I also miss the mediterranean salad. Mmmm, make that Janine!!! Pleeeeaaaase! Paul dearly loved George, and we were so sad when it closed. Let's start a search for a new gathering hole. 'Course then us old folk would have to stay up past 11 and get babysitters and stuff. It could happen...

Janine Serresseque said...

I did a little digging and apparently George now has a restaurant called Four Seasons in or near Powhatan, with his son Jimmy and his wife. What do you think? Is a pilgramage in order? I imagine if he saw a bunch of us from the old days walk in he'd close up and move even farther away! Bless his heart.

hoosier steve said...

Robyn, I remember you on the bat singing, good times. Every night he closed the bar with New York New York...I killed several brain cells to know that fact.
I am up for dropping in on him when I am in town.

pnlkotula said...

Ooo, a road trip - yay!!!

Jacquie said...

Oh yeah! We MUST go! I thought I would never taste that Eggplant again...WAIT...what if it's not on the menu...I just can't think about that right now...