The restaurant was opened by John Hontzas in 1957 and operated, along with the earlier Niki's Restaurant downtown, by his nephew, Gus Hontzas and three cousins. The location allowed them to procure fresh produce without paying a delivery fee.
The restaurant has grown into a Birmingham institution as evidenced by the long lines of customers in the cafeteria line on a daily basis. Niki's is said to have the freshest vegetables in Birmingham due to its location adjacent to the farmers market. Today, the restaurant is operated by Gus' two sons Pete Hontzas and Teddy Hontzas.
- Southern Foodways Alliance, Greeks in Birmingham Oral history. 18 Jul 2006 .
- Hoekstra, Dave (September 10, 2015) "The Greek soul food story of Birmingham, Ala"