Senator James Skoufis (D-Orange County) joined with fellow Greek-American legislators on March 22 in celebration of Greek Independence Day, advancing a Senate resolution to honor March as Greek History Month. As part of the annual festivities, Skoufis highlighted Andy and Kalliopi (“Popi”) Chronopoulos, a beloved Greek-American couple who operated Andy’s Restaurant in Highland Falls for many years.
Senator Skoufis also welcomed Archbishop Elpidophoros of the Greek Orthodox Church, sharing a meal with his eminence and the legislature’s Greek-American caucus, where he spoke of Andy and Popi’s Kalavryta roots and all they’ve given back to their tight-knit community.
“I am extremely proud of my Greek heritage and of the thousands of Greek-Americans who live and work in New York,” said Senator Skoufis. “My family, like so many other immigrant families, came to this country seeking a more promising future. Andy and Popi Chronopoulos perfectly embody that immigrant spirit, bringing with them amazing Greek cuisine, building an iconic gathering place for their community, and raising a wonderful family.”
In the shadow of World War II, Skoufis’ family made the trip from their small farming community in the mountains of western Greece to the United States, settling in Brooklyn. His grandfather happily worked at the Coney Island Nathan’s Hot Dogs stand throughout his life, and Skoufis’ father opened a Greek deli in Bay Ridge that’s still operational today.
More About Andy and Kalliopi (“Popi”) Chronopoulos
Andy (b.1933) and Popi (b.1936) were both raised in Kalavryta, in the Achaea region of Greece. Andy first came to the United States when he was 17, landing in Hartford, Connecticut and working full-time in a restaurant for seven years before returning to Greece.
Upon attending his sister’s wedding, Andy was introduced by family members to Popi and the two were married just five months later, in 1958. After moving back to the United States, Andy and Popi spent time in Poughkeepsie, New York before settling into the tight-knit village of Highland Falls, New York and raising their two boys, Basili (Bill) and Constantine (Dean).
The couple purchased the restaurant now known as Andy’s from another Greek family in 1964, and together the two cooked, cleaned, served, and entertained seven days a week for over 37 years, often with help from their sons. The food at Andy’s, namely their heaping, delicious breakfasts, quickly became a local favorite. To this day, West Point cadets and local residents can be found waiting in long lines to enjoy an omelet at Andy’s.
In the 1990s, Andy and Popi began hosting an annual Christmas dinner for the community at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. The menu, unchanged from its earliest days, includes turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cornbread, cranberry sauce, cookies, and pies – all donated by the community and lovingly prepared by the Chronopoulos family and volunteers. These festive meals have been enjoyed on-site or hand-delivered to those who couldn’t travel because, as Andy said, he wanted to help “the people who have no place to go.”
After Andy and Popi sold the restaurant to another Greek family in 2000, they spent much of their time volunteering and remaining active in their Highland Falls community. Popi took a part-time job with the Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery School District, serving as a recognizable and well-loved lunch monitor at the middle school until her retirement in 2021, while Andy volunteered at Red Cross blood drives, local sporting events, and at various West Point drills and events.
From their earliest days in the village, Andy and Popi have been recognized for their deep commitment to community, earning various accolades from State Senators and Assemblymembers, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery CSD, and the Constitution Island Association. The couple have previously been recognized jointly by the Village of Highland Falls as Greek Person of the Year.
On walks through town, Andy and Popi are quick with smiles and greetings for nearly everyone they see, still holding court as they did for nearly four decades in their beloved Highland Falls eatery and demonstrating the kind of quiet generosity they’ve long practiced with neighbors.