Local restaurateur George Tompras was born and raised in St. Louis. He passed on from here, as well, on May 20. Having grown up within the family restaurant business, he carried on that business through Garavelli's and Kreis' Steakhouse located off of South Lindbergh Boulevard. George assumed the ownership role of Kreis' along with his sister, Renee Tompras Bogdanos, upon the death of their father, Byron Tompras, who died in 1989.
Being of Greek descent, friends shared that George always said that food was in his blood: "The reason why you see so many Greeks go into the restaurant business is because they're typically strong-willed and independent people who are also passionate about food."
George was a proud graduate of Clayton High School (class of 1968) and St. Louis University, at which he double-majored in economics and philosophy. George also attended and graduated from New York Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He was known for maintaining the highest culinary cuisine quality possible, striving to be "the" best steakhouse in the entire St. Louis metropolitan region.
Family members indicate George also enjoyed the arts, philosophy, history and his Hellenic heritage. Many say his intellectual curiosity was always operating.
Online comments from customers emphasize George's friendliness, kindness and genuine smile. They also shared that he held doors open for them, offered them tours of the restaurant's kitchen, was a unique showman, and made meals hosted at the restaurant into first-class experiences from start to finish.
George was 71 years old. A funeral service for him was held at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in St. Louis.
KREIS' CONTINUES WITH RENEE TOMPRAS BOGDANOS
Close to four decades of Tompras family ownership and management of Kreis' Steakhouse continues under George's sister, Renee. The traditions of quality, consistency, service and innovation made Kreis’ famous. The restaurant is a landmark for fine dining, hosting generations who return over and over.