Chrissie C. J. Alevizatos, 96, ran Mount Vernon Restaurant

January 13, 1996|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Chrissie C. J. Alevizatos, an active member of the Greek community who with her husband ran a popular Mount Vernon area restaurant, died in her sleep Sunday at her Towson $H residence. She was 96.

Born Chrissie Joannides, she was raised in Bulgaria, the daughter of Greek parents who immigrated in 1912 to Dayton, Ohio. She moved to Baltimore after marrying another Greek immigrant, Christ E. Alevizatos, in 1920.

Mr. Alevizatos who had operated a confectionary during World War I in Chestertown, became a partner in the old Liberty Hotel, a 46-room hotel near Penn Station. After the partnership dissolved in 1927, he opened a confectionary and later the Lord Baltimore Sandwich Shop on Baltimore Street.

"When they decided to open the Mount Vernon Restaurant for business on June 1, 1932, it was the darkest days of the Depression and people called it 'Chris's Folly,' " said a son, Evan Alevizatos of Ruxton, a retired partner with the law firm of Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander.

Mrs. Alevizatos -- known to many visitors simply as "Mrs. A" -- managed the staff, mimeographed menus, handled the ordering and greeted diners who arrived at the restaurant in the 900 block of N. Charles St.

"They offered a 55-cent dinner special that included tomato juice, soup, roast chicken, two vegetables, roll and butter, dessert and coffee. The 75-cent special included oysters on the half-shell and filet mignon," the son said.

The restaurant quickly became a favorite of physicians, musicians, actors, journalists and other denizens of the night who lived in nearby Mount Vernon, Belvedere and Bolton Hill, as well as such old Baltimore families as the deBullets, Symingtons, Claggetts, Prestons and Parkers.

The long, high-ceiling room presided over by the Alevizatoses resembled the stage setting for Robert Sherwood's 1930s melodrama-thriller "The Petrified Forest." It featured high-backed wooden booths and mirrors, white tablecloths, old Baltimore prints, wall lights on art-deco sconces with a checkout counter and register near the restaurant's entrance.

The restaurant was sold in 1956 after Mr. Alevizatos died.

The former Homeland resident was active in the affairs of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation and officer and member of ENOSIS Society, the women's philanthropic arm of the parish.

For more than 25 years she was a member and officer of the International Center of the YMCA. After World War II, she helped many immigrants and refugee families to settle in Baltimore, acting as an interpreter and directing them to legal, medical and social assistance.

She taught her children to speak Greek and had a "strong moral ethic" Mr. Alevizatos said.

She was a member of the Greek War Relief Association and a founding and charter member of the Alcemene Chapter No. 27 of the Daughters of Penelope, the women's auxiliary of the American Hellenic Educational and Progressive Association, and the Three Arts Club of Homeland. She also was a longtime volunteer and gift shop worker at Mercy Medical Center and was a member of the auxiliary.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, Maryland Avenue and Preston Street.

She is survived by another son, Dr. Aristides C. Alevizatos of Sparks; two daughters, Chrysanthe A. Pappas and Betty Jean Alevizatos, both of Towson; nine grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandson.

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