When Tim and Vassiliki Nassapoulos left their native home in Greece to come to America in 1987, they brought with them a strong sense for the importance of family and making new friends every day. They also understood the importance of hard work and making sure that their customers get plenty of value for their food dollar.
It’s a business approach that has served the Nassapoulos’ extremely well. Settling in Menomonee Falls, they originally opened the Colonial Restaurant in leased space at the Colonial Plaza. Then, in 1996, they moved into their own building, the present , N85W15990 Appleton Ave., which now celebrates its 15th anniversary.
For Tim and Vassiliki, Menomonee Falls and its people have been a perfect fit.
“We love the people here,” Vassiliki explained. “Most of the people are our friends. We know them by their first name. Most of our waitresses were here the day we first opened so we have a special connection with this area and its people. We have seen little kids that have grown up and become our waitresses. Each day it’s not really like coming to work. We get to socialize with our customers.”
And the customers love to socialize right back.
For instance, every other Tuesday morning there is a group of 20 to 30 war veterans that come in for breakfast. They are from Menomonee Falls VFW Post 9496 and served our country in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
“We’ve been coming here every other Tuesday for about 10 years,” said World War II veteran Jim Kroening. “They’ve got good waitresses, good food and the price is right. We’re all pretty satisfied.”
“We enjoy coming here,” added Robert Tank, a World War II paratrooper who spent a year and a half in a German POW camp. “We know the people, the servers and everyone. It’s enjoyable. We like this place and the service and the food.”
“We know them by their first and last names,” said Nassapoulos. “They know us the same.”
It’s no accident that the Oasis has become a local eatery institution.
“We work very, very hard to give quality and home cooking,” Nassapoulos said. “We have at least eight daily specials which we cook from scratch every single day. We have homemade soup, not from cans. Our prices are great. The quality in our restaurant you can find in different places, at least double the price.”
As one might expect, Vassiliki says her favorite memories over the past 15 years revolve around the people that she, her husband and her daughters have met at the restaurant. She is most proud of the fact that their business and their social lives are deeply woven together.
“Our family is devoted to bringing the same quality of food and to spend quality time around here because I’m proud to say this is our social life, too,” said Nassapoulos. “We love the Menomonee Falls area. When we come to work, we come here not just to work but to have fun and visit. We’re celebrating 15 years and we’re going to be around for a long time.”