Xenophon ‘Sacks’ Agnos dies at age 88

Owned Sacks Inn on Falls Road

April 24, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Xenophon "Sacks" Agnos, former owner of a Falls Road tavern, died April 17 of complications from a stroke at his nephew's Hampden home. He was 88.

Mr. Agnos, the son of farmers, was born and raised Xenophon Anagnostaras near Tripoli, Greece.

He was a descendant of Anagnostaras , a hero who helped liberate Greece from 400 years of Turkish domination during the 1821 war of independence, family members said.

Mr. Agnos served in the Greek army and fought in Albania during the Greek civil war in the late 1940s. When he immigrated to Baltimore in the early 1950s, he shortened his name to "Agnos," said his nephew, Chris Christopoulos, who lives in Hampden.

"His new American friends and neighbors had trouble pronouncing his name, so Xenophon became Saxophone, which he later shortened to Sacks," his nephew said.

In Baltimore, the newly arrived immigrant found work as a Department of Public Works hokey man sweeping city streets. Later he worked in a shoe factory.

In the early 1960s, he opened Sacks Inn in the 5900 block of Falls Road just north of the Kelly Avenue bridge, with George Christopoulos, his brother-in-law.

"They ran a neighborhood bar and a package store in which commotion and rowdiness were not tolerated. People came in for a shot and a beer and to watch a sporting event on the TV," his nephew said.

"If someone got rowdy, he'd say, ‘You're outta here.' Every once in a while, the great and humble like Johnny Unitas or other Colts and Orioles would come in for a quiet evening," his nephew said.

Mr. Agnos, who drank Pabst Blue Ribbon beer until giving up drinking 25 years ago, sold the bar and retired in the 1990s.

Mr. Christopoulos said his uncle was a familiar figure on 36th Street in Hampden and often could be found helping friends who owned and operated the old Ye-Eat Shoppe.

Mr. Agnos enjoyed thoroughbred racing and playing poker machines.

"He was full of personality and his generosity was felt by many who were down on their luck. He had a heart of gold," his nephew said.

Services were held Wednesday at the Greek Cathedral of the Annunciation.

Also surviving are two sisters, Dina Barceliotis and Mary Anagnostaras, both of Greece; and his companion of 45 years, Jean Hancock of Locust Point.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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