For many years, the establishment called Pizza Pete's on the Spur Highway in Soldotna was a popular place for family dining. Many young adults today starting their own families remember going out for family nights and special occasions at Pizza Pete's. Mike and Froso Charalambous who purchased the restaurant 20 years ago became like members of everyone's family, and would always wave and greet you warmly from the kitchen. Then tragedy struck and the old Pizza Pete's building burned down. However the Charalambous family didn't allow the fire to put them out of business, and from the ashes rose the new Frosos's Greek, Mexican and Italian family restaurant. The new building was designed to be a place elegant enough for a special night out, and casual enough to enjoy after a day of outdoor activities on the Peninsula. Recently the building had some slight remodeling, which has the owners and staff enthusiastic about the future of Froso's in Soldotna.
"This weekend is our 20th year since we first bought our business in Soldotna, and we want to say thank you to everyone who has stood by us all these years and invite you to come in and enjoy some new beverages paired with your favorite meals as we officially open our new bar," said Froso. The remodeled lounge also features large screen plasma TV screens to view your favorite sporting events. The adult son of Mike and Froso, named Paul, is now the restaurant manager and represents the next generation to join the family business. "It's a lot nicer than the restaurant I grew up in, but it's still casual enough so I feel at home. We love our fisherman who come in the summer, and we continue to focus on high quality food, at low prices. The new bar is simply an extension of the business that has been going on for 20 years," said Paul. Paul's brother Demetris is currently in Paris, France studying to become a chef at the world renowned Le Corden Bleu School of culinary instruction and management. He too plans to return to Alaska to join the family business after graduation.
This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday Frosos's is planning three days of special events that will include live entertainment, a special sushi chef, who will be offering free samples during the weekend, and exciting new beverage creations to pair with Froso's famous recipes. Frosos's welcomes area history buff, and very personable, Randy Merritt as mixologist, assisted by Sascha Pearce and Anna Denney. To illustrate the knowledge Merritt brings to the experiences, Paul noted, "He can even tell you when and why Americans started drinking Vodka."
Also during the special event, as a way of giving back to the community, Froso's will be featuring a special $10.00 "Merrill Martini" with proceeds going to the Kenai Watershed Forum's new summer camp for kids. "My kids grew up on Mike's Pizza and I wanted to help celebrate their family success, so I'll be serving my healthy, antioxidant delivery, martini creation which friends have named the Merrill Martini and together we'll help send some local kids to the KWF day camp coming this summer," said photo journalist and Caring for the Kenai program creator Merrill Sikorski.
"Supporting our local community and school activities has always been a part of our business," said Paul. "And I think I'll even be brave enough to try a Merrill Martini myself, and I hope a lot of our friends will come in and join us for some fun this weekend. We especially waited for our new service opening until after the summer so we could accommodate our local customers with the specials," he said. Froso's opens at 11:00am and this weekend's entertainment will begin at 6:00pm and according to Paul, will stay open until the last person leaves.
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