Kostas “Gus” Kolitsas left the farm where he was born in Andros, Greece in 1979. Along with his mother and brother, Gus came to the United States to reunite with his father, George, who had come four years earlier to establish himself. Settling in Waterbury, Connecticut, the young family planted roots, with George earning the position of head chef in one of the area’s busiest restaurants. Gus, who had just turned sixteen, attended school during the day and on evenings and weekends, went to work washing dishes, cleaning floors and slowly learning the culinary arts at a small pizza restaurant tucked into an old strip mall on Straits Turnpike. The restaurant, known then as “Maples Pizza”, was to become the only job that Gus was to have.
As Maples grew, so did Gus. He learned about Italian cooking, about classic American cooking, and about customer service and the restaurant business. Under the owner, Gus was quickly promoted to line cook and became head chef at the young age of 26. By this time, Maples was in its new location across the street, in a building built in 1986. Eventually, pizza came off the menu and Maples became known as the town’s favorite family restaurant.
Today, Gus owns the restaurant, realizing every immigrant’s American Dream.
Under his direction, Maples has become the true diner of Americana that it was designed to be, with All Day Breakfast and a large offering of delicious sandwiches, homemade soups and comfort foods made from scratch. As for the Italian food that put Maples on the map those many decades ago, Gus continues to serve up some of the area’s best, honoring the original Maples and the restaurant’s origins.
Whether you have been a regular guest to his restaurant since those early days, or whether you are a first time guest, Gus hopes you enjoy, tell a friend and come back soon, becoming part of the continuing story of Maples Family Restaurant of Middlebury!