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Paul Lares came to the United States as a young boy from his native Sparta, Greece.
He grew up in Peoria, Illinois, where he graduated from high school and attended Bradley University. Paul served honorably in the United States Army before beginning what would become a long and successful career in the food service industry.
Paul moved to Florida in 1979, where he became a partner in his first restaurant,
a diner on Cleveland Street. In 1981, Paul bought Athens Restaurant in Safety Harbor and built it into a popular Safety Harbor institution. Paul’s devotion to the Athens Restaurant and his faithful customers—actually friends—was seen in his unbelievable energy, contagious smile, and generous spirit. Since Paul's untimely passing in October 2014, his children have worked hard to honor their father's legacy with a commitment to good food, a casual, friendly and comfortable atmosphere, and a deep respect and love for our Safety Harbor community. We look forward to serving you!
​Theo & Demetra Benetis and Rhea Lares