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Olympic Steak and Pizza
In 1975 Tom and Valsamo Sinis moved from Greece to the United States, Ripley in hopes of a better life. Tough economic times and Civil war had plagued Greece for several years and many of her citizens fled to various countries searching for financial solace. Tom and Valsamo's first stop in the United States was Chicago, Illinois. Chicago has a very large Greek community with several Greek restaurants and taverns, so they felt it was an ideal opportunity to begin their careers somewhere where they had so many of their own native people. However, though Chicago harbored many Greek people it did not have Greece's warm climate nor agricultural landscape and it seemed a little too "big" to Tom's eye seeing that he came from a mountainous village in Greece with a population of 400 people. So, in 1976 Tom and Valsamo packed up and headed south to West Tennessee where a few of Tom's relatives had settled and made a meager living in the restaurant business.
Tom and Valsamo's beginnings in Tennessee were humble to say the least. Valsamo washed dishes seven days a week for $50 and Tom was head cook and made not much more. One year later, in 1977, they partnered up with a few other fellow Greeks to open up the first Olympic Steak & Pizza in a small shopping center in Dyersburg, Tennessee. Well, to be exact it was actually called Olympia Pizza & Steak back then but slowly through the years the "a" was replaced with a "c" and the "Steak" swapped spots with the "Pizza". For several years Olympia was a small haven for the citizens of Dyesburg looking for good home cooked food, and of course Olympia's delicious homemade pizza you simply couldn't find anywhere south of Kentucky. However, in 1985 they felt that a better opportunity awaited them in a small town 30 minutes south of Dyersburg called Ripley.
Ripley, known as the home of Olympic, proved the great stepping stone for the success that Olympic Steak & Pizza would enjoy in the future. In 1985, Tom and Valsamo built the first restaurant they could call their own, a 60 seat Olympic Steak House on Hwy 51 in Ripley, TN. Olympic Steak House was an immediate hit in Ripley and as its popularity grew people started coming from all over to try Olympic's unique cuisine of homemade dishes suited for the south but with a Greek twist. It wasn't long before 60 seats could not accommodate Olympic's growing clientele, so in 1989 Tom moved a mile down the road on Hwy 51 and built a 300 seat Olympic Steak House that's still there and thriving today.
Expansion and the renaming of Olmpic Steak and Pizza...
In 1994, Tom felt it was time for another expansion this time coming in the form of their second location in Atoka, TN. He decided to integrate pizza back into the menu with this location and named the restaurant Olympic Steak and Pizza. This location proved to be the biggest success story yet, many people from in and around Memphis drove to Atoka to try the delicious dishes that had become common place in Ripley. In 2004 to accommodate it's clientele another expansion took place as Atoka Olympic expanded by 60 seats.
In 2007 another Olympic Steak & Pizza location was added in Millington, Tennessee. This location was added to accommodate the growing number of customers south of Atoka and near Memphis. It has also been a huge success serving people in Millington, the naval base, and the surrounding communities. Then in 2009 another location was added in Oakland, Tennessee.
Sinis Family 2011
Olympic Steak & Pizza started over 30 years ago in a small plaza in Dyesburg, TN and now it's a household name all over West Tennessee. You can still see Tom and Valsamo from time to time these days walking around the various Olympic locations but the majority of the responsibility lies in the hands of their two sons, Bill and Harry and the reliable management of each location. So come by one of the locations and hopefully you'll run into either Tom or Valsamo and you can ask them yourself about their journey these last 30 years and we promise it will be much more interesting to hear it from them.