The George Chronopoulos Story!
The heartwarming true story of how one man influenced so many over the course of his lifetime.
Born in the small village of Militsa, Greece in 1935, George Chronopoulos lived through the Nazi occupation of Greece in World War II and the Greek Civil War of 1944-1949. In the early days, his village had no electricity yet his family lived like kings on their farm.
His father decided that he would become a barber in Pilos, where he had moved as a young boy to be by the sea for health reasons. It wasn’t long before he moved to Kalamata and then to Athens where he eventually joined the army. Because he was a barber he was in great demand in the army and got to know Generals and others in high command. After the army everyone was leaving Greece, so his father said, “If you want to go, I do not mind,” and he too immigrated, to Montreal.
In Montreal, he married a girl from back home, Savoula. He learned how to do the latest in styles and razor cuts from the guys in Montreal, Perry Como Style, Hollywood Style and in 1960 they moved to Vancouver.
His first job in Vancouver was at the Hotel Vancouver Barber Shop for three days. Next, he moved to a small shop at 41st & Oak. “I’ve got the best barber in town,” bragged the owner. It wasn’t long before Gus Lloyd spotted him and hired him for his Waverly Barber Shop on Georgia Street. Jack Wasserman wrote about him, “There is a new guy in town who does styles for men. Men’s hairdos.” Lots of business types came into the Waverly and the lifestyle was contagious. Seeing himself as an entrepreneur, he went into partnership with Gus; they bought a building on Richards Street and opened the Bouzouki Greek Coffee Shop.
He opened his own hair salon, the Riviera on Seymour, in 1964. It wasn’t long before he was established in Vancouver. “There was no one doing what I was doing!” He had the establishment coming to him, the Jewish Community Syd Belzberg, Leon Kahn, Irving Kates, Sid Golden, Max Fugman, Roy Cantor, Joe Segal, members of the Richmond Golf & Country Club; every CEO in town including Jimmy Pattsion and Peter Brown all came to him through word of mouth.
In the seventies, he opened a second location on the lower level of the Hyatt Hotel called The Royal Riviera. He continued buying other businesses, mainly restaurants at first and later condos. He started his own painting and renovation companies. His real estate and business dealings took him first to the US and then to Britain, Switzerland, Bucharest and India.
He and Savoula raised three daughters over the years and he was instrumental in raising money for the Greek community and through his connections, for many other charities in Vancouver and across Canada. Church and family were always foremost in his life!
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Published by: Warfleet Press
Release Date: Available
Pages: 371, $34.95 plus shipping
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