“He still works every day in the restaurant, in the kitchen,” the current owner says about his father.
Wilson Boulevard is home to a few local gems that have been feeding the community for some time, and the long-time, family-run restaurant Two Chefs Pizza in Bluemont is definitely one of them.
Two Chefs Pizza offers a variety of classic American, Italian, and Greek dishes. They even serve breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays. From cheesesteaks, burgers, and subs to pizza, lasagna, and spaghetti, and all the way to gyros, souvlaki, and baklava, this neighborhood restaurant has been around for almost four decades and has served a wide variety of meals.
“It’s a neighborhood spot. Customers will come in and see others that are here and they have all grown to know each other and know their families,” Tasos Sgardelis says.
Sgardelis is the son of Greece natives George and Dimitra Sgardelis, who originally opened the restaurant in 1984. I sat down with Tasos to discuss his family’s journey in owning a restaurant that will celebrate another milestone next year.
“My parents bought this place when I was four years old, now I’m 43,” Tasos said.
The Sgardelis purchased the restaurant on April 1, 1984, but their journey to this point started long before.
Growing up in southern Greece, George and Dimitra Sgardelis lived in neighboring villages outside of Monemvasia, Laconia, where they helped their family pick and press olives for olive oil.
George was a teenager when he moved to Athens and worked at a coffee house within the Old Royal Palace, which now houses the Hellenic Parliament of Greece. George later served in the Greek military before becoming a chef on luxury cruise ships, traveling the world.
Eventually, he found himself in New York in the early 1970s, working as a chef in a few classic Greek-style diners.
Before Two Chefs Pizza, the couple owned a restaurant called The Greek Village in Washington, D.C., located in the Dupont Circle area. After a brief run in the local restaurant business, they moved back to Greece, but eventually returned to the United States to open the pizzeria in Arlington in 1984.
“Growing up here, I was here after school every day,” Tasos said. There were about 30 seats, barstools like a diner style, you could watch them cook in front of you. There were a couple of two-seaters and a six-seater and a Pac-Man machine in the back.”
In 1995, the restaurant transitioned into its current layout.
“They bought the space where the kitchen is now and built a new kitchen. They added more than just pizza and subs to the menu, like Greek dishes. My mom was the waitress and she still serves to this day,” Tasos said.
When asked about their best sellers and his personal favorite, Tasos responded: “We sell a lot of pizza, gyros, chicken souvlaki, and a lot of steak and cheese. My favorite is pizza, then second is for sure the steak and cheese.”
As I stepped into this restaurant, I noticed a young boy and girl sitting in a booth doing homework and roaming around the kitchen. It didn’t hit me until later how the cycle of tradition at a family-run business continues.
“I would be in the back doing my homework after school and playing the Pac-Man machine,” Tasos said, prompting me to ask about the children.
“I do have kids, even my kids, go in the back and make their own meal,” Tasos said.
“I’m going to carry on the tradition, and then hopefully maybe one of my kids can take over from there, he continued. “All I know is that we will keep doing our thing. Even after the pandemic, we are still working, we still love what we do, and we keep trying to improve and add more things”
With the restaurant turning 40 next year, you can still expect to see the original owners cooking in the kitchen and serving the food, plus a son who has seen his family business carry on over the decades, and the grandkids who may one day carry on the legacy.
It sure seems like Two Chefs Pizza is here to stay.
Address: 5019 Wilson Blvd
Phone: (703) 525-6889
Nicholas Barahona is a freelance food writer who often posts his food reviews on Instagram.
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