Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tarpon Springs' 'Lukie' Pappas dies at 85

HOLIDAY — It was Lucas Louis "Lukie" Pappas' cooking that sustained his father's legacy at the famed Riverside Cafe on the Sponges Docks in Tarpon Springs.

Mr. Pappas was one of three sons of Louis Pappas, who invented the Greek salad as we know it with the scoop of potato salad underneath the lettuce.

"My father taught him to cook," said Bertha Houllis, 89, Pappas' oldest sister "He was the only one who really did the cooking and brought it up to par. He was the one who knew all about the kitchen the way my daddy did it. Daddy taught him all the tricks."

Lucas Pappas, 85, died Friday morning at home, surrounded by family, after a long battle with cancer.

"He was an excellent cook," said Nina Gray, 74, Pappas' youngest sibling. "After my father, he was the cook at the restaurant. Out of the three brothers, Mike, Lukie and Jack, he was the one that kept the cooking going."

In 1975, Mr. Pappas and his brothers moved Louis Pappas' 50-year-old restaurant to a nearby location on the Tarpon Springs waterfront, where the Riverside Restaurant at the Sponge Docks became a national focal point for tourists. The restaurant closed in 2005.

The building was sold and it opened as a restaurant earlier this year.

Mr. Pappas graduated in 1943 from Tarpon Springs High School, where he played football. But instead of going to college, he went off to the U.S. Army until 1945. Pappas was a general's aide during World War II.

After the war, Mr. Pappas returned to Tarpon, where he worked at the restaurant perfecting his father's recipes. Mr. Pappas and his brothers also became successful real estate investors.

His son, Louis L. Pappas, 55, said Mr. Pappas was a key figure in the extended Pappas family.

"Other than being just a good father, he kept unity in the family," Louis L. Pappas said. "With all our extensive family, he was the one always in the middle of it. We called him the peacekeeper."

Grandson Lucas Louis Pappas, 28, said Mr. Pappas was "probably one of the most caring individuals that I've ever come in contact with."

"He had an innate ability to make people feel special," he said. "He could walk in a room and his smile would light the room up."

Lucas Pappas' wife of 64 years, Evee died in May; brother Michael Louis Pappas died 2009.

In addition to his son, Louis L., Mr. Pappas is survived by three daughters, Cynthia Mangos, Florinda Williams and Olympia Pagano and Pappas; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; a brother, Jack Pappas; and the two sisters, Bertha Houllis and Nina Gray.

A wake will be held 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox cathedral in Tarpon Springs. The funeral will be there at 11 a.m. Monday.

Contact Demorris A. Lee at dalee@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4174.

Tarpon Springs' 'Lukie' Pappas dies at 85 12/17/10 [Last modified: Friday, December 17, 2010 7:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  2. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion

    Fire

    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  3. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Tampa man turns himself in for Sunday hit and run fatality

    Public Safety

    A Tampa man was arrested early Sunday after he struck and killed a pedestrian, left the scene, and then called 911 to turn himself in.