SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Spring is in the air, and in KELOLAND that means a busy construction season. But in the midst of a major road project along one of Sioux Falls’ busiest streets is a pop of color that’s been there for decades.
In tonight’s Eye on KELOLAND, the local business owner whose pride in his work shines brightest every summer.
“In South Dakota, everybody knows about steaks,” Nick’s Gyros original owner Andy Sengos said.
In 1982 Andy Sengos introduced Sioux Falls to his hometown cuisine.
“I’m from Athens, Greece,” Sengos said. “It’s very hard for me because nobody knows about Gyros then….but every time I give a test of the meat, they say wow, so good.”
“I’ve been coming to Nick’s since about 1982 when it first got here. I heard it on a radio advertisement and I though that sounds awfully authentic,” longtime customer Greg Stulc said.
And like many customers at Nick’s Gyros, Greg Stulc has been hooked for decades.
“I just like the taste,” Stulc said. “My daughter was about this big when she first started coming over here, she’s now 53, so we’ve been coming a long time.
It’s not just the delicious food drawing people to this Sioux Falls favorite for the past four decades.
“It’s just got a great look to it,” Stulc said.
The beauty of this unique restaurant also keeps customers coming back for more.
“I like have everything nice,” Sengos said.
It began with the color of his restaurant.
“If you go to my country, look at the pictures over there, everyone is blue and white,” Sengos said.
But over the past two decades, customers have also been drawn to the pop of color Sengos adds outside his store every spring.
“Customers everyday say Andy, I love your flowers,” Sengos said.
“I found out the best petunias are the wave petunia,” Sengos said.
“A lot of customers that come here, say Andy I have something for you, some perennials from my house, I bring to you to put in here, every year someone bring in perennial flowers to keep it nice and add more flowers,” Sengos said.
…Nick’s Gyros is covered in colors all summer in a part of town where this kind of natural beauty is rare to find.
“You don’t see that type of decoration on 41st Street, most people just see the traffic and that’s about it,” Stalc said.
“It is something different and special on 41st Street,” Sengos said. “It’s very hard to keep anything here, especially after the winter because of all the city chemicals and snow and stuff, just destroys everything, but springtime is coming, I’m here again.”
While Sengos retired a few years ago, he’s still back at the restaurant every spring to plant and comes back several days a week to water his flowers all summer long.
“It’s not hard, especially if working outside, never is hard for me,” Sengos said.
At 74, he’s still happy to come to the restaurant he started more than 42 years ago.
“It is so beautiful here, I love it, it’s my job, I love it, I like to come here and talk to my customers and keep busy all the time,” Sengos said.
His displays change every year, but his colorful creations are always clear evidence of the pride he continues to feel every time he drives by the business he created.
“It feels good, because it is my business, it is my life,” Sengos said. “All my life is here, this is my business, and my kids grow up here, and now my grand kids, I love it, every time I come here I like it to see nice and beautiful.”
Now Nick’s Gyros is in the hands of the next generation, but the flowers are still all thanks to Andy. He says it’s a labor of love he plans to continue for many years to come.