When one has been in the world and career of hospitality for as long as Alex Passakos has been, a few pretty impressive things are bound to happen. Like getting restaurant dishes named after him, or even his own beer!
Originally from the home of the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo, New York, Alex came to South Florida as a toddler when his parents moved here. One could say he is an honorary Floridian. He says, “I lived in Lauderdale Lakes for the majority of my life, so I was constantly in the Oakland Park area”.
Alex became a man who truly seized the night and paved the way for what he would be known for.
As a young man, going through a rough break up, Alex and another friend began going out for nights on the town. His friend was also going through the very same situation. Two newly single men going out at night, soon they began to recognize all the cool “it” hot spots.
Alex was going out pretty much every night and became an expert on where to go. This was during AOL (America Online) days, and before major website traffic. There was already a large focus on night life in Miami, so Alex focused on Broward. He built the website, Broward Hot Spots, and that paved the way for everything else.
Something that has followed Alex through his career in hospitality is his ever-famous quote “I like Soup!”. The quote stems from when his friend Tommy and Alex were building their first site. There was a message board on it, much like many websites of the time had. Alex didn’t want to publish the site with a blank message board, so he created some topics to get the ball rolling. For one of them the title of the thread was “Hey!” and when people clicked it the body simply said, “I like soup”. “This was something I did really quickly, without even really thinking about, and it ended up being the most popular topic on the message board”, he says.
Eventually, when your name is well known, some perks will come along. Alex has dishes named after him in several locations throughout Broward!
The first one was The Passakos Sushi Roll at his friend Thuan’s old sushi restaurant. It came about when his friend Thuan named a sushi roll Red Monkey, which is the name of a party that he and his friend Jonny throw at various venues. The roll was very successful. As a joke, he said to Thuan the next roll had to be named after Alex. “It turns out he had a really good roll that he had created that day and he ended up naming that one the Passakos Roll, which went on to become one of his best sellers”, he says.
Alex is currently on the menu at about 8 or 9 other locations with one being at Oakland Park’s very own and very famous Peter Pan Diner! On their menu you may find the Passakos Footlong Hot Dog.
The majority of the food items now are combinations of flavors that the owners of restaurants and I have sat down and created together.
However, the most exciting thing in Alex’s name is yet to come.
On Riverfront there are so many notable places to go eat or drink. Alex would frequent Off the Hookah, or Tatts and Tacos. The owner of Tatts and Tacos, Ehab, also own Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers. While eating, Alex wanted to be able to enjoy beers, of which he only enjoys a few, but he always preferred something different from the different samples he would try. He would enjoy the smell of this one, or the initial taste of that one, or the after taste of another. He mentioned to his friend Ehab how he wished he could take all these elements and make the perfect beer. Ehab then exclaimed, “Well, why don’t we make one?”.
From there, they got to work and that’s just what they did. After trying some samples, and making some adjustments here and there, they finally found the right recipe for Alex’s taste buds’ approval! Alex said, “They [the brewers] would bring us samples after every brew and we would say this is good but let’s change this, or let’s make this stronger and that weaker, etc. His guys are so good that it only took 3 brews for them to nail it”.
It’s a blonde ale. Alex really wanted something that he could enjoy with a meal or grab a case of it for a day of boating or to take on a tailgate with friends. The beer is being manufactured in a brewery in Wilton Manors and its very fun name will be the Holy Passakos.
The beer is has been perfected and the launch will be tomorrow, Wednesday February 10th at Holy Mackerel in Wilton Manors from 7pm-11pm.
To get the word out Alex is relying heavily on word of mouth right now, and of course, our ever-growing social media. Alex shared that the thought of his Holy Passakos beer being in some of the busiest venues in South Florida soon is very exciting. It means that a lot of people will have access to it, and Alex hopes that people will enjoy it as much as he does.
Don’t miss your chance to be one of the first to try out Alex’s Holy ale creation tomorrow night. It is sure to be a one-of-kind, Passakos experience, the type that has kept Alex, a man of the night, thriving in the biz for decades.
Anamaria Moreno is an Elementary school teacher. Born in Costa Rica, but mostly raised in Venezuela, Ms. Moreno came to South Florida in 1996 where she has resided ever since. She graduated from Lynn University, with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She has taught in the classroom for 18 years, most recently teaching the first grade for the past seven years. Before becoming a teacher, Ms. Moreno was involved in volunteer work with the Child Life Specialists Department at Miami Children’s Hospital. She also served as member of the Board of Directors for “A Caring Pregnancy Center” in Miami. Most recently, Ms. Moreno has taught at an elementary school in Oakland Park. Ms. Moreno also teaches ESOL to Adults in Night School. When Ms. Moreno is not in the classroom, she enjoys baking custom specialty cakes, face painting, and enjoys creating Arts and Crafts.