Spiros: you should hear the story of how we got married, it’s pretty crazy! One day while we were still on Evia island, Elizabeth received a message from the local police to present herself at the local authorities. We went there together and they told her she had to go out of the country to renew her visa (Greece was not part of the EU at the time). I said to the police officer: “she is not going anywhere officer, we are getting married”. Elizabeth: this is how I found out about my own wedding! (Elizabeth and Spiros laughing). We had to organise our wedding in less than 1 month. It was madness! Spiros had to go back and forth for papers to Athens, the priest was giving us trouble for me being the foreigner and non Greek Orthodox. And he also said I was old to be getting married! (I was 29 years old then). I think he said all these things also because we did not want to get married in a big church. We wanted to marry in this tiny tiny chapel in the neighbourhood where Spiros was born. We had about 30 people at our wedding. Spiros: Elizabeth was wearing a simple white dress, she picked her own flowers on the way to the church and we slept on a terrace that night as we didn’t even have a proper room to sleep in! We were woken up by a rooster which was right next to us the next morning!
Elizabeth: after 2 years on Evia we decided to move back to Poros, where we met. I was working in a souvenir shop, Spiro was DJ’ing. It was the time when Poros was buzzing. What you see now is nothing compared to Poros from that time (70s and 80s). The streets of Poros were chock a block with human traffic, night and day. It was an electric atmosphere. We loved it!. We were going out all the time. Blissful time. In the beginning, after we got married, we didn’t want to have children. It was a very sudden decision. Jamie (Iakobos) was born in 1986 (I was 34). Alex was quite a surprise. I woke up one day and had a feeling I was pregnant. Later that day I did a test and voila! Alex was born exactly 4 years and 5 days after Jamie.
Elizabeth: it took me a very long time to learn Greek. I still am. You know, us English people are not the best with languages. Spiros’ mother was a good teacher for me, also of Greek cuisine. I learnt a lot from her. Spiros: at some point I realised she could pick up on the conversations as she was asking “are you talking about me?” and that’s when I knew I had to be more careful with what I’m saying (Spiros laughing). Of course we never said anything bad about Elizabeth.
Spiros: we started this taverna (Apagio) 17 years ago. Before I was dj’ing and Elizabeth used to run a small souvenir shop. Then at some point someone offered us to take over a small meze style place on Poros. I knew how to serve, Elizabeth cooked very well, so we decided to take it. It was a spot near the naval base. Even though it was difficult to find us there, we were always full. I would go fishing to bring fresh fish to the taverna. Elizabeth would cook (Elizabeth: I can say now it was the hardest job I’ve ever done!). We also played music and danced. The place became very successful. Elizabeth would make very unique dishes. Her specialty was spare ribs. But we needed something bigger. Our boys needed to get education and our business was not enough to provide for that.
Elizabeth: one day I was cycling when I saw this location (current Apagio), which was advertised for rent. I visualised exactly how it would look like and I knew it was perfect! I told Spiros and in 1 month we were all moved. It was a pandemonium as it was July (year 2007), peak season time. It was completely crazy! Our boys were not there at the time (Jaime taking his exams and Alex away in Norway) so we didn’t have much help. Spiros: at some point I thought: “that’s it, we won’t move!” But I didn’t say anything to Elizabeth. Later it turned out she was feeling exactly the same way! Elizabeth: The move continued, we were carrying all our stuff on motorbikes (we didn’t have a car) so you can imagine the back and forth. It also took time to decorate, redo the kitchen as the place closed suddenly and the previous owners left everything as it was (there was still food in the freezer!). It was in a terrible state. But we were determined at that point. We said: “we’ll do it!” And we did. We went mad in the process, but we did it! In about 1 week – 10 days we brought the place to an acceptable state. We had many antiques for instance and we had to be very careful with them. Also, Spiros’ paintings – they needed the right place in the new taverna. We decided to decorate the place green, keep it fresh, make use of all the plants surrounding it. 3 years had passed and the place next door became available. We didn’t think twice – we took it. And it was the best decision we made! The space outdoors has been used as an extension to the Apagio taverna. There is also a small space inside, under the roof, which is perfect for a little bar with live music performances. That is a project the boys will be working on in the future. Now we are slowly backing off. It’s time for Jamie and Alex to take over. We are ready to retire. It’s time. We are leaving the business in good hands though.