Situated in the Heart of Chicago’s Old Town, Nookies Restaurant first opened its doors as “Nookies Snack Shop,” in 1973. Two co-workers, Spiros Alexopoulos, a recent immigrant from Greece, who used to work as a server in a Lincoln Park restaurant, and Ralph Fisher, a cook, joined forces to open what was to become one of Chicago’s favorite diners. The original snack shop was equipped with a deli and an ice cream parlor, and seated only a handful of patrons. Spiros and Ralph named it “Nookies” as in a breakfast nook, although the innuendos of the name where not lost on passersby and local patrons.
Hard work, dedication and long hours through endless work weeks allowed the pair to overcome their lack of capital and inexperience. Soon Nookies began gaining acclaim and notoriety. Lines began forming in front of the snack shop. Spiros was able to renovate and expand the restaurant to 100 seats, establishing Nookies on Wells, as it's known today. Nookies became the home of many Chicago politicians, actors, TV and radio personalities, and local artists, who would mingle with locals and out-oftown visitors to create a true Chicago original.