The End of an Era: Nick and Archie’s Charcoal Chicken Shop closes

After 43 years service, it was last call for hamburgers and charcoal chicken at Nick and Archie’s Charcoal Chicken, Kingsgrove on Saturday as the Nick and Archie Mihalatos shut the shop’s doors for the last time.

All through the day, valued customers came to pay tribute to Nick and Archie Mihalatos, their mother, Erasmia, and their respective families, as they all acknowledged the important  contribution to the Mihalatos family has made to the local community.

Regular customer Vinod Reddy highlighted the strong friendship that developed over the years with the Mihalatos extended family.

And Tim Hansen pointed out Nick and Archie served the heartiest meals in Sydney.

Arthur Banos praised the generous servings at Nickl and Archie’s and recalled how his sons often could not finish their meals because there was too much food.

“Nick and Archie found the right balance between great- tasting foods and value-for-money meals,” he said.

Ilaisa Livi, who has worked for the Mihalatos family for many decades, stated how he regards them as his own family.

“Nick and Archie’s treated me like a brother,” he said.

The Mihalatos family migrated to Australia in 1969.

It was when Nick worked in Kingsgrove Fish Shop that he enquired about a vacant shop and the family believed it was a great opportunity to escape the monotonous and menial factory work.

They subsequently opened their takeaway in 1975.

Over the years, Nick and Archie saw all the changes to the local area as the No Standing sign went up along their strip of busy Kingsgrove Road, introducing new meals such charcoal chicken and yeeros to their menu and how people’s tastes began to change as more cafes opened in Kingsgrove.

Just how important the shop was to the Mihalatos family is highlighted by Nick and Archie,

“Although we were working in the shop all day, our father, Spyro, was the head of the family. We would give him all our shop’s takings and he would bank them,” Nick said.

“Father would then give us spending money every Saturday, and that was our pocket money for the week. When we had saved enough, our parents would buy property for us.

‘We have worked together for forty-three years. We have grown up in the shop. We married and had families, and our children practically grew up, and later helped out, in the shop.

“We were young men when we bought the shop- we learnt the meaning of life, and business, here.”

Archie added, “Three generations of family worked in our shop: our mother, Erasmia, ourselves and our wives, and our children, who have their respective careers and still come to help us on weekends.

“Our shop was truly a family business.”

Ninety-year-old, Erasmia Mihalatos, fittingly had the last word as she thanked God for giving her such a wonderful family and that she was so proud of each and every family member.

Asked what they will be doing now that the shop is shut, both Nick and Archie point out that after 43 years they deserve a break.

“We just wish to thank all our customers for all their support and friendship over the years,” they said.