Founders of Pappas Restaurants, Inc.
|Chris and Harris Pappas, founders of Pappas Restaurants, Inc., own and operate nearly 100 restaurants in seven states. Their brother, the late Greg Pappas, also was instrumental in the company's success. Pappas' eight unique brands include Pappas Seafood House, Pappasito's Cantina, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, Pappas Bar-B-Q, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Pappas Grill Steakhouse, Pappas Burger, Yia Yia Mary's Pappas Greek Kitchen, and the original Dot Coffee Shop, which was established by their father Jim and his three brothers in 1967.
The Pappas family has a long and celebrated history in the foodservice industry. The Pappas brothers' grandfather, H.D., came to America from Greece in 1897 and eventually opened his own restaurant. Their father Jim and his brothers started Pappas Refrigeration, a restaurant equipment and supply distributor, as well as the Dot Coffee Shop in downtown Houston. After the success of the Dot, the brothers then opened the first Pappas Bar-B-Q.
Chris and Harris Pappas also serve as CEO and president, respectively, of Luby's Inc., a publicly traded cafeteria chain founded more than 50 years ago. Luby's operates more than 120 restaurants in five states, serving up southern cuisine in a cafeteria setting. The brothers became majority shareholders in the company in 2001.
Christopher J. Pappas
Chris serves on the boards of the Greater Houston Partnership and the Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He is also a member of the Dean's Advisory Board at Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. He was recognized with Hilton College's 1994 Honorary Alumnus Award and the 1996 Volunteer of the Year Award.
Additionally, Chris is a member of the board of directors for the National Restaurant Association, the Texas Restaurant Association, the Greater Houston Restaurant Association, and is an advisory board member of Amegy Bank. In 2001, he was inducted into the Texas Restaurant Association Hall of Honor. Active in the Greek Orthodox Church, Chris was recently named an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for his outstanding service.
Chris received a degree in mechanical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He and his wife Maria have five grown children.
Harris J. Pappas
While in high school, Harris attended Schreiner Institute for two years. He continued his studies at Texas A&M University, where he earned bachelor's degrees in finance and accounting. After graduation, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He served one year in Thailand and one year in Vietnam, and was awarded two Bronze Stars and three Army Commendation medals.
Harris is a member of the board of directors of Oceaneering International, Inc., a publicly held firm, and also served a 10-year term on the board of trustees of Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in Houston. He is an advisory director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston and of Frost National Bank-Houston. He served a three-year term on the board of directors at Schreiner University and now serves on Schreiner's advisory board. He also is a member of the Texas A&M Foundation Development Advisory Committee and the Education Development Council Advisory Committee. Harris received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Texas A&M in 2001 and the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Texas A&M Mays College of Business in 1999.
A boating and fishing enthusiast, Harris also enjoys spending time with his wife, Vicky Marinos Pappas, and their six children.
Gregory J. Pappas (1949–1995)
Greg was active in the refrigeration area of Pappas, particularly the design and installation of various types of refrigeration equipment, and later began an ice machine leasing company with more than 200 accounts throughout the Houston area. As Pappas Restaurants, Inc. began to expand throughout Houston, Greg moved into the design and construction of the company's restaurants, including Pappas Seafood House, Pappasito's Cantina, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen and the Dot Coffee Shop.
He worked as a general contractor, managing the structural, architectural, mechanical, and interior design of new restaurants, as well as service and remodeling work on existing locations. Today, design, construction and service work is done almost entirely by in-house employees, a direct result of Greg's influence.
Greg graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor's degree in industrial distribution. After graduation, he was certified in refrigeration and air conditioning by Durham Technical College. Greg lived in Houston, where he was a member of the Greek Orthodox Church. He enjoyed skiing, golfing, attending sports events and was an exotic car enthusiast. He always valued time spent with his extended family.