Gus Economopoulos has always been interested in talking politics, a desire that has come in handy as he has chatted up customers from just about every political stripe over the 28 years he’s owned Richies Family Restaurant.
“All my life, it was my interest in the way democracy works,” Gus said. “Every four years you have a choice about changing the government if you think they’re not doing a good job or keeping them on if they’re doing a good job. As a businessman too, you’re always paying attention to what’s going on.”
In the restaurant business, Gus is used to having customers coming in who hold varying political views. And like any good host, he’s more than ready to interact with all of them.
That conversation is an opportunity he readily admits to learning a lot from.
“The thing is, people from all parties, all political ideas come here. I enjoy speaking to everyone and getting all their opinions,” Gus said. “This is very much a neighbourhood place where everyone can come in and share their thoughts.”
It wasn’t just civic-minded customers Gus would have political chats with as his staff were also involved.
One particular former staff member, London North Centre candidate Kate Graham, worked for Gus for several years.