Volume 78 / Number 18 - October 1 - 7, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower
East Side, Since 1933

Photos by Evette Stark Katz

Photos, clockwise from above: Groom Andreas Tsoukalas and “Soso” Kontis; Joe Jr. founder Teddy Handros, in gray suit, third from right, with other Joe Jr. staffers and relatives; Handros forgets about the restaurant business for a while.

Joe Jr.’s ‘big, fat Greek wedding’ sees ‘Soso’ marry

By Ed Gold

The popular luncheonette Joe Jr., at 12th St. and Sixth Ave., lost one of its regular staffers when Soteria Kontis, known to everyone as “Soso,” married Andreas Tsoukalas on Sat., Sept. 12. The reception took place with 250 guests in attendance at the The Graycliff, in Moonachie, N.J., with the band playing from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. The wedding Mass took place earlier at St. Irene Church in Astoria.

“Soso” leaves the family-run eatery after six years of serving a very diverse clientele, including notables like Steve Forbes, the magazine magnate; Bob Kerrey, president of The New School; former Schools Chancellor Anthony Alvarado; and actors Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick and Benjamin Bratt.

The family team at Joe Jr., which was founded more than 30 years ago by Teddy Handros, includes his sons Nick and Gregory; the bride’s mother, Efharis, known as “Effie”; and her aunts, Kyriak, called “Kiki,” and Paracivi, who is “Vivi” to everyone. Others who help out include the bride’s brother, Constantino — “Gus,” of course — and cousins Gregory Vassilakis and Maria. The bride’s father, Vasilios, flew in from Greece, where he once raised sheep but is now a chef.

Two members of the family missed the “big, fat party.” Teddy’s son Gregory and “Kiki” were at 12th St. running the restaurant.

“Soso” has a B.A. from Queens College, and plans to work on a master’s and become an early-childhood teacher. The groom, coincidentally, is in the restaurant business.

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