Chris Skillas learned what it took to run a restaurant from his dad, Nick, who owned Lee’s Snackhouse on Campbell Street for over thirty years. “I started in the family business when I was a kid. I would wash dishes and flip bacon. Every Saturday morning you helped out wherever you could. I love this industry and when someone takes a bite of something you made them and their faces light up, well, I just love that part,” says Skillas. Hospitality is an important piece of the recipe.
Skillas purchased Mike’s Pizza and Subs in the Eastland Plaza. “It was a turnkey operation and we worked hard to build the business. After about three years, I decided I wanted to serve burgers like my Dad did. That’s when we decided to open up Christo’s.” The business opened at 415 Exmouth Street in 2012. “My brother Greg was involved in the business for a time. We opened up a Christo’s in Bright’s Grove. We sold both Mike’s locations and that second Christo’s location when he decided to go in another direction. I miss him being here. We were the dynamic duo.” Christo’s is open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Thursday from 11am to 10pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 11pm.
Christo’s menu consists of never frozen, fresh ground beef burgers. “Customers get to build their own burger. We have checklists for them to select the toppings they want. They also choose the side they would like, either one of our specialty fries or a salad.” Specialty fries include Mexi-Fries, Chili-Cheese Fries and Feta Fries. “We also have a signature Christo’s Fries which is a little bit of everything. Our fries are fresh. We spend two hours cutting potatoes each day. Fresh chili is very popular, as is our special Christo’s sauce.” Pizzas are cooked in a stone-oven and can be purchased as a single pizza or customers can save a little by ordering two of the same size. “We pack on the toppings too.”
The open kitchen is an attraction. You are able to see your food being prepared. “People like to see the craziness back there, they love the show. Some customers come pick up their orders early, just to watch.” A majority of their business is take-out and deliveries, but there is a nice space to eat-in. A staff of twelve run the business, including some familiar faces. “My Dad and Mom help out here in the mornings. We have a coffee, hang out and talk about life. It’s great to have them here. My wife, Christina, works hand-in-hand with me at the business and takes care of the kids at home. She’s amazing, if I didn’t have her support, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Lastly, we appreciate all the customers that support the business, some of them who knew me from when I was a kid working for my Dad.”