Key Koukos, the owner of Twins Pizza and Steaks, decided to pay homage to his late son, Chris Koukos, who died from a heart condition at age 31.
Key Koukos said his son was an athlete and seemingly healthy until his heart condition was diagnosed. Koukos said his son died just three months after receiving the diagnosis.
“I wanted to do it for years, then I lost my son five years ago,” Koukos said. He had planned to retire and pass the restaurant on to his son until his untimely death in January 2008.
Though the heartache of loss is a reminder each holiday season, Koukos plans to “just give back” to people as a gesture of goodwill in the friendly manner his son was known for.
He has seen how people struggle in recent years locally and for decades in his homeland of Greece, which currently has nearly 26 percent unemployment.
“I know (that) people suffer,” Koukos said. “You see the unemployment and no new jobs.”
He became a U.S. citizen in the 1970s and has had four restaurant ventures in the LaFayette area, with Twins Pizza and Steaks approaching 20 years in the community.
The restaurant will be open on Christmas Day “to anyone that needs a meal” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., serving a lunch with a spaghetti, lasagna and pizza bar.