Damianos “Danny” Stefanou is no stranger to complicated projects. He bought a property at 555 E. Ridge Road in Irondequoit in 2000, tore it down and built a new 38,000 sq. ft. family restaurant, “Uncle Danny’s that has 12 employees. In answer to the question, “Do you cook?” he said, “I don’t know how to cook. I know how to eat,” and laughed. After retiring as a real estate broker, he manages the restaurant and goes there almost every day.
Danny bought the property at the northeast corner of South Avenue and Linden Street in 1980 after it had been boarded up for 15 years and another deal fell through. He originally wanted to set up a coffee shop for his wife Pat, but was persuaded by a neighbor that a grocery store was a better fit. He feels strongly about not seeing that corner neglected and takes complaints from the neighbors seriously.
Speaking of Pat, they have three daughters and four grandchildren. Danny believes in the future of the city and is eager to fill the new Highland Market store with brand name groceries at affordable prices that appeal to people in the neighborhood.
To any neighbors who feel impatient with the progress on the market’s re-opening, I offer the following proverb: “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” Danny has taken many steps in the journey to complete this project to date. Who’s to say how many steps are still needed for him to get this store opened? Danny is hoping to be open by the end of August, just in time for the Greek Fest at Holy Spirit Greek Orthodox Church across the street.