The Peroulas brothers’ history in the Knoxville restaurant business is a remarkable story of perserverance, determination, honesty, ambition and success.
This is just a few of the highlights that have marked the path they took along the way…
In 1951, 1953 and 1956, brothers Al Peroulas, Gus Peroulas, and Arthur Peroulas, respectively, emigrated to the United States from Greece with not much more than a few dollars.
With a work ethic instilled in them from their parents, the brothers worked long hours at a restaurant as cooks and dishwashers saving their hard earned money. On August 10, 1961, their savings were used to open Pizza Palace in the location it still is today. Despite people telling them a menu of pizza, onion rings and an original secret spaghetti sauce would not work in Knoxville, it actually became an instant success.
By 1989, Pizza Palace underwent an expansion and remodel to accommodate its loyal customers.
In 1997, having graduated Emory University and The Culinary Institute of America, Charlie Peroulas, Arthur’s son, joined the family business. He quickly learned from his father and his uncle what Pizza Palace customers expected when they received their orders…great quality, good value and excellent taste. Pizza Palace now included the second generation.
In 2007, a producer from Food Network called Charlie explaining that a new show was being filmed and he wanted to feature Pizza Palace on the second episode of the show.
That show was Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives and its host was Guy Fieri. The episode originally aired on April 30, 2007 with a follow-up feature in the book, Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives: All American Road Trip, published in 2008. The recognition from the show brought and continues to bring customers from all over the country and abroad.
Unfortunately, this great success was bittersweet to the Peroulas family because it couldn’t be shared with Arthur, who died in 2002, and Al, who died in 2003.
Instead, this loss only made the second generation more determined to keep Pizza Palace running with the same ethics and beliefs the brothers had when Pizza Palace opened.
Now, 50 years since the opening date, Pizza Palace is a landmark. It still serves its loyal customers that have been coming from the beginning and welcoming new customers while the Peroulas brothers legacy continues…