For Nick Karras and John Papaioannou, who recently opened Legends Grill and Bar on 191st Street, business is all in the family.
“We wanted to come back to the southwest suburbs and we felt Mokena was the place to do it,” said Papaioannou.
The two brothers-in-law have family ties to the Southland, and to the restaurant business. Karras was raised in Oak Lawn and grew up working at his uncle’s bar in Lockport. Papaioannou’s father owned a Greek deli, and he spent his early years surrounded by the food business.
Mokena’s latest restaurant is the second Legends location Karras and Papaioannou have collaborated on – the first is in Yorkville. The Mokena Legends opened March 12, creating 25 local jobs. The brothers hope their restaurant will bring the character and community of a family-owned business to the south suburbs.
“We want to be where people come,” said Karras.
Karras and Papaioannou would like Legends to function as a family-friendly dinner option, as well as a nightspot with reasonably priced drinks and the place to go on game day.
The restaurant serves burgers, salads and wraps, as well as Legends’ signature wings with dry rub.
The bar carries 24 beers on tap and dozens in bottles, including an extensive lineup of Chicago area craft beers. Legends even serves Baderbrau, a beer so local that the owner of the brewery lives in Mokena. Karras and Papaioannou also make their own infused vodka in-house.
And like any sports bar worth its salt, several TVs are mounted on the walls at Legends – 20, to be exact, including a 110-inch flat screen and even a few sets in the bathroom. The restaurant also has an outdoor patio for use during the summer months.
“It’s just a very comfortable place,” said Mokena Mayor Joe Werner. “I’m really impressed with it.”
Legends Grill and Bar is located at 9710 W. 191st St. For more information, call 708-995-7278 or visit legendsgrillbar.com.
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