Make us your home page

Peck's founder scratches retirement, returns to grilled chicken

APOLLO BEACH — George Kontakos couldn't stay away from the draw of the flame. He tried to enjoy retirement for 2½ years, even vacationing in his native Greece.

But the man who founded Peck's Flame Broiled Chicken in Brandon back in 1990 and subsequently sold the name has opened another location in the old Dairy Queen at 6002 U.S. 41 in Apollo Beach.

"I wanted to do something to kill the time," said Kontakos, 72. "We are not here to make millions."

While many family members, including sons James, Alex, Pete and John all had a hand in helping grow the business over the years, James has taken the baton that his father passed to him and will be running this new restaurant.

James also credits his mom, Alexandra. She is retired now but used to run the business side using her banking skills she learned while working alongside Tampa Bay Buccaneers Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon.

James' nephew, Aristotles also helps out during summers.

"I'm a restaurant brat — like a military brat," said James, 43. "They are huge shoes to try to fill, but I've had the best teacher along the way. My father is still my idol."

George Kontakos credits YaYa's Chicken for introducing him to the flame broiled style of cooking, but Peck's still marinates all its chicken for at least 24 hours in a secret recipe, giving it the signature flavor customers have come to know.

The store will continue to undergo renovations, while dine-in customers can expect to enjoy an ambiance that includes the likes of Ray Charles and Frankie Valli piping through Pandora while Godfather and Beatles art adorn the walls.

In addition to chicken, the Kontakos family offers a nod to its heritage with menu items such as gyros and Greek salads along with ribs. Daily specials range from $5.50 (thigh, leg and side) to $10.35 for a gyro platter, fries, Greek salad and pita. Peck's also caters and makes family meals of between eight and 20 pieces of chicken.

Check out the full menu at, a website that Alex designed.

Indian cuisine fills spot on Brandon Blvd.

BRANDON — Bawarchi, Biryani Point, an Indian cuisine restaurant, has opened in one of the Brandon locations that formerly housed a Peck's Flame Broiled Chicken. After Peck's founder George Kontakos retired, he sold the name and the eatery re-opened in Brandon under different ownership in 2014 in the same plaza as Outback at 2020 W Brandon Blvd., No. 140.

Now Bawarchi, Biryani Point, which dubs itself as the biggest Indian restaurant chain in the nation with more than 40 locations, is bringing its authentic entrees to Brandon on the heels of its Tampa opening. Menu items include the $9 Dal Tadka, which is yellow lentil sauteed with onions, tomatoes and spices, and Gongura Mutton Curry for $13.

Visit for the full menu.

SHARE YOUR NEWS: If you have an item for Everybody's Business, contact Eric Vician at

Peck's founder scratches retirement, returns to grilled chicken 07/20/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 3:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals


    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]
  3. Pinellas licensing board loses support for staying independent

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board on Monday lost its strongest supporter for staying independent.

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican running for governor, said Monday that he will no longer support any legislation to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board independent. This photo was taken in August. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Triad Retail Media names Sherry Smith as CEO


    ST. PETERSBURG — Triad Retail Media, a St. Petersburg-based digital ads company, said CEO Roger Berdusco is "leaving the company to pursue new opportunities" and a member of the executive team, Sherry Smith, is taking over.

    Sherry Smith is taking over as CEO at Triad Retail Media, the company announced Monday. | [Courtesy of Triad Retail Media]
  5. Two new condo projects for same street in downtown St. Pete

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — It lacks the panache and name recognition of Beach Drive, but 4th Avenue N in downtown St. Petersburg is becoming a condo row in its own right.

    Bezu, a condo project planned at 100 Fourth Ave. NE in downtown St. Petersburg, will have 24 units including a three-level penthouse with infinity pool.
[Courtesy of Clear ph Design]