November 8, 1942 – July 7, 2020
Panayiotis (Panos) Photopoulos, 77, passed away on the 6th of July, 2020 in Charlotte. Panos was born on the 8th of November, 1942 in the small village of Agios Sostis, in the Peloponnese region of Greece. The only son of the late George and Hrisanthe, he was raised in the nearby town of Andritsaina with his four older sisters.
In 1968, he realized his longtime dream of moving to the United States and settled in Chicago, where he began his American dream with signature enthusiasm. In 1969 he met and married his beautiful wife Toula (Giannibas), and he learned the ropes of the restaurant business by day while taking English classes at night. In 1986 Panos, Toula, and their three young sons moved to Charlotte to be closer to family. That same year, he opened his first restaurant, The French Quarter in Uptown, which is still owned and operated by his son George and is one of the oldest, most beloved establishments in the area.
From 2004-2015, Panos and his family owned the Greek Isles in South End, which felt like home to many during those years. Anyone who worked for or visited the Greek Isles immediately felt like part of the Photopoulos family, due in large part to Panos’s genuine warmth, good humor, and hospitality. He was a great storyteller and always had a joke and a good word at the ready. Besides his beautiful family, it is Panos’s legacy of love, positivity, and generosity of spirit that will keep him eternally in the hearts of those who were lucky enough to know him.
In addition to his late parents, Panos is preceded in death by his sisters Maria Hiropoulou and Yiota Lambropoulos, and his brother-in-law Grigoris Tsioutsias. He is survived by his loving wife Toula, his sons George (Danielle), Greg (Marina), and Frank (Hristina); his sisters Toula Tsioutsias, Eleni Ikonomakis (Giorgo); his brother-in-law Souli Lambropoulos; his grandchildren Peter, Dimitri, Alexia, and Nikolas, and many nieces, nephews and extended family members in the U.S. and Greece.
Arrangements are being handled by Ellington Funeral Services. Due to current regulations, there will be a private funeral and burial on Friday, July 17th. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Panos’s memory to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Attn: Pew Restoration Project, 600 East Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28203.
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