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Andy’s Club celebrates 50 years of Greek food and good times

By Valerie Phillips - Special to the Standard-Examiner | May 1, 2024
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The Andy’s Combo at Andy's Club includes steak, chicken souvlaki, a Greek meatball, dolmathaki, rice and Greek bread.
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Blayne and Chelsea Griffis, seated, bought Andy’s Club from longtime owner George Koloveas last year.
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Hot honey feta dip is a new appetizer at Andy’s Club.
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A Greek salad topped with chicken at Andy’s Club.
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Beverly Nelson has been waiting tables at Andy’s Club for 45 years.

Andy’s Club is celebrating 50 years of steak, souvlaki and good times. Chelsey and Blayne Griffis, owners since June 2023, are keeping the same menu of Greek specialties, while adding a few new items to keep things interesting.

“We have a lot of fun here,” said Chelsey Griffis, who worked at Andy’s for 15 years before buying it from George and Aphrodite Koloveas. “It’s like that TV show ‘Cheers,’ where everybody knows your name. We get a lot of new faces, but most people are on a first-name basis.”

Andy’s Club is the namesake of Andreas “Andy” Konstantinos Bolos, a Greek immigrant who bought the small building at 501 N. Washington Blvd. in 1968. By that time, the small building already had some history. Some accounts say it was a speakeasy during the Prohibition era, and there’s an old photo from its days as Joe’s Chicken Inn.

By 1968 when Bolos first bought it, “it was a beer bar,” Griffis said. “For the longest time, people just came here to drink.”

In 1974, Bolos turned it into a private club, the first one in the Ogden area, according to George Koloveas. At the time, Utah liquor laws required customers to apply for a “social club” membership and pay fees in order to be served liquor. He put some of his native Greek specialties on the menu.

An early lunch menu lists “Andy’s Special Steak,” with salad and toast, for $2.95. A skewer of souvlaki (skewered meat chunks, referred to as “shish kebab” by Koloveas) was $1.85, served with salad, fries and Greek bread.

Beverly Nelson, who has waited tables at Andy’s for 45 years, remembers some customers coming on horseback, since much of the surrounding area was still farmland.

“Wednesday night was Steak Night, and you could get two full steak dinners for $8.50,” Nelson said. “When Andy owned it, you could only get your steak one way — medium rare. But after George bought it, he started giving people a choice.”

Nelson also recalls lots of energy — occasional Greek dancers, intense Sunday night dart games and fights over the pool table.

The pool table and dart board era stopped when the liquor laws of 2009 ended the private club era.

“Once we turned into a restaurant, there were so many rules that went with it that it was too hard to keep doing pool and darts,” Griffis said.

Koloveas, also a Greek immigrant, started working at Andy’s in 1991 and bought the club from Bolos in 2003.

“I decided to keep the same food, because everyone knew this was the place for Greek food,” he said. “People knew what they wanted, and they came here for the shish kebabs and steak.”

Koloveas added more menu items, and today you can also get burgers, grilled chicken breast, salmon, fish and chips, and other non-Greek entrees. Everything is cooked to order; the souvlaki is skewered and marinated. Steaks, cut in-house, are rubbed with a house seasoning.

The takeout window makes up about 30% of the restaurant’s business. “It helped see us through during COVID,” Griffis said.

The Andy’s Combo is one of the most-ordered dishes, she said. It’s an 8-ounce steak, a large skewer of souvlaki, a Greek-style meatball, bread, a dolmathaki (stuffed grape leaves), and rice or fries.

“Many couples will split it, because it’s so large,” said Griffis. “The souvlaki stick is about a full pound of meat.”

The Greek gyro dinner features lamb, pork or chicken, thinly sliced, grilled and wrapped in warm pita bread.

The Greek Sample Plate has dolmathaki, Greek meatballs and spanakopita — savory phyllo dough triangles filled with melted cheeses and chopped spinach.

“People order lamb chops a lot, which is something you don’t get at a lot of other restaurants,” Griffis said.

Greek Avgolemono (lemon chicken rice soup) is offered only in winter.

“It’s very popular, and people complain when it’s not here in the summer. But it’s labor-intensive to make. We have to make it from scratch every day because it doesn’t keep,” said Griffis.

Her personal favorite is the Greek salad — cucumbers, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, feta cheese, pepperoncinis, olives and hard-boiled egg.

“I can eat it probably four times a week. It’s filling, and since it doesn’t have lettuce in it, you can save it for later because it doesn’t get all soggy,” she said. “And our salmon is really good too.”

Nelson likes the Greek salad, too, topped with chicken breast.

Recently, Griffis added a new item, hot honey feta dip. The honey is drizzled over the melted feta cheese dip. Then a kitchen torch is applied “to give it a nice toasty top,” she said. It comes with pita wedges for dipping.

More desserts were added to the traditional baklava, such as pecan turtle cheesecake and carrot cake.

Kids’ meals are another recent addition, “as we’re getting a lot of families coming in here,” said Griffis.

Blayne Griffis, who has been working at the restaurant with his wife, noted that many longtime customers have their own traditions. On Sunday mornings, they line up in the parking lot for brunch to open, in order to get their favorite table.

He added, “There are people who have been coming here for 30 years who don’t even look at the menu, because they already know what they want.”


IF YOU GO

Andy’s Club

Location: 501 N. Washington Blvd., Ogden

Contact: https://andysofogden.com; 801-782-9972

Hours: Closed Mondays. Open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Prices: $12-$25 (entrees)

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