WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — For more than two decades the owners of Hibiscus Cafe have been dishing out delectable Greek cuisine from a small building across from the base.
After 23 years in their former location, the owners decided they needed more space to accommodate all of the guests that walk through their doors each and every day.
For manager Mary Akriotis, this restaurant is her life seeing that she’s worked here since doors opened back in 1999 alongside her father and mother.
“The food is Mediterranean, and she cooks Moussaka, Pastizzi, she makes lemon chicken, we have lamb and the stuffed grape leaves,” Akriotis said.
It’s that great food and friendly service that has customers coming back day in and day out, but at their old location, there were only eleven tables available. That is until now.
“We wanted to give our patrons something a little bit bigger a little more spacious that way we were not on top of each other when lunch came because we only had eleven tables at the other place. Here it’s only 22 tables but there’s more space,” Akriotis said.
And being located right across from Sheppard Air Force Base, Akriotis said many customers become like family over the years.
“My parents treat everybody like they’re our family so you come in through our doors we don’t just see you as a patron. We feel like if you come long enough you become part of our family. And I feel like over the years, we’ve had a lot of people that would come over and over and over and it’s just like we’ve kept our following,” Akriotis said.
A following they were able to hold onto even through the pandemic.
“It came as a big surprise I think to all the businesses in town, but I think what made the difference is, again, the patrons. They would come and say we may not be able to dine in but we’ll do takeout. And so, I think that’s what kept us afloat during the hard times,” Akriotis said.
When Akriotis learned they were moving, she knew she had to take one key piece of the restaurant with them.
“I found out later that the stickers meant it’s their way to tell other military personnel that this is a good place to eat, so it’s their seal of approval, and of course, since we were honored in such a way, we didn’t want to leave that behind,” Akriotis said.
A tradition that Akriotis hopes continues for years to come.