For almost half a century, Alekos offered the city plenty of fun and entertainment
Or how a shop and its owner can be a part of memories for at least two whole generations of people.
Today, Alekos Christou, the Alekos of Ambiance, passed away and everyone in Larnaca had a good word to say about the man who gave the city's residents some of their most beautiful memories.
For almost half a century the Alekos offered the city heavy doses of fun and entertainment. The whole city had passed there, from students and people next door, to famous Skaliotes and well-known Cypriot celebrities.
Among the regulars were Anna Vissi, George Theofanous and Eurydiki.
In a photo we spotted on the Larnaca in History blog, which was taken in the summer of 1969, capturing a group on the sidewalk of Ambiance, can be seen the doctor Andros Antoniadis, the director of the Stock Exchange Nondas Metaxas, the President of the Supreme Court Myron Nikolatos, the former Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the United Kingdom and Director of of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexandros Zenonos, the civil engineer Giannakis Petsas, the retired bank employee Andreas Hatzianastasiou and Nathanael Nathanael, all from Larnaca.
This legendary shop operated for about half a century, after opening its doors for the first time in 1967. For the sake of history, let us mention that it previously operated as a tavern, by Alekos' father, Christos Christos, while in the late 60s it was transformed into a center that he pioneered many things. In addition to Alekos Christou, the co-owners were his brothers, Tulla and Haris, while his wife, Theodoula, also worked there, as did many of the family's children who helped after school or during the summers.
In Ambiance's menu, which was very innovative for the time, one could find options such as a homemade burger that they made themselves, schnitzel, pasta, and even chips of their own production, since they had a special machine that cut the potatoes in this shape. Things that definitely stood out were the legendary bougatsa, the Pasta Bolognese and the tip top, the ultimate ice cream of the season, which was loved by the younger patrons, who frequented there also for the video games on the arcades.
In the legendary cafe, which was known to be located in the Acropolis area, in the city center, next to the Pangyprian Lyceum (today there is a hairdressing salon there), some fell in love and others got married – in the large reception area at the back!
*All the following photos were sent to us by Alekos' niece, Evdokia Charitou, exclusively for the needs of this WiZ Guide article.
From left to right: Maro Charitou, Ivi Stafilaris, Stelios Stylianou (back), Haris Christou, Georgios Christou, Lilis Charitou, Andri Charitou, Theodoula (wife of Alekou), Alekos Christou
From Ambiance's 45th birthday party
Alekos serves Anna Vissi who was a patron of Ambiance
Below are two images of the tavern that existed in the area before Ambiance was opened.
Alekos poses in the empty space next to Abmiance. Behind him is the staircase of the “Acropolis” Cafe. The black background is the back of the Diana cinema screen (photo: Larnaca in History)