Holiday’s closes after 24 years

Jackie Gutknecht

After 24 years of operation, Holiday’s Greek & Italian Restaurant closed its doors this month due to financial struggles.

“We ended up closing because of financial difficulties. With the state of recession and so much competition, we got to the point where it was week to week,” Nikko Kalloniatis, co-manager of Holiday’s, said.

The restaurant owed too much money to food vendors, and worked out a payment plan, but the summer hit the restaurant too hard and it could not stay afloat, Nikko Kalloniatis said.

Having been in the Statesboro community for so long, Holiday’s served several local and national celebrities.

“Erk Russell, before he passed away, would come in once a week to the restaurant,” Johnny Kalloniatis, co-manager of Holiday’s, said. “A really long time ago, Diane Lane, the actress, had a friend whose daughter went to school here, so she came to our restaurant one day. We were surprised to see her.”

Now that the restaurant has closed, the Kalloniatis brothers are looking for other forms of employment.

“Down the road we might try to open up another [Holiday’s], not in Statesboro, but maybe somewhere else,” Johnny Kalloniatis said.

Holiday’s had a particular Greek dressing which Nikko Kalloniatis said he would be working on getting bottled and sold.

“People just loved that stuff,” Nikko Kalloniatis said.

Holiday’s was family owned and operated, and Johnny Kalloniatis said that the family atmosphere was the best part of the restaurant.

“A lot of people grew close together and grew up there, and when my father passed away everybody came to his funeral, and so there was a good family atmosphere type work environment,” Johnny Kalloniatis said.

Family friend and former employee Darla Elliott compared Holiday’s to a family diner setting.

“Whether you worked at Holiday’s for a week or for years and whether you came there for one time to eat or you’ve eaten there for many years, you were family, and the bigger the family the happier they (the Kalloniatis) were,” Elliott said.

“Their house recipes, such as the salad dressing and desserts, will truly be missed by a lot of Statesboro,” Elliott said. “I’ve already received calls from people asking if I can get recipes.”