Given the difficulty of operating a restaurant in this food-crazy town, we're constantly amazed when an eatery survives, let alone thrives. 

Which is why we take a brief moment to mark the 30th birthday of Alexis Restaurant, the Greek establishment that brought deep fried squid and old world charm to Portland

The restaurant founded by the Bakouros family has not been without adversity.  It has struggled through lawsuits (it had to fight off a major corporate attempt to poach its name by a hotel company) neighborhood tension (the restaurant is located on Second and Burnside, an area that has been a magnet for homeless people) and tragedy (brother Ilias, who had more charisma than any one individual should legally possess, died in 2008 in a freak fishing accident). 

WW admittedly has a special fondness for Alexis: during the 1980's our office was right across the street and many issues of this paper were produced under the influence of Moussaka, Dolmathes, Alexis's heavenly bread and just a bit of ouzo.  To Jerry, Alex, Roula and the gang:  Happy b-day!