Founded in 1995, T.A.G. Restaurants currently owns and operates eight dining establishments in Chicago and surrounding suburbs. Surrounded by food, the Alpogianis’ destiny to delve into the business of restaurants was inevitable. Both of George’s and Manolis’ grandfathers owned and operated restaurants in the Windy City. Gus’ father had a small diner in Wrigleyville. Subsequently, Gus’ father opened The Palace Grill with Gus and his brother Michael. Still in operation, The Palace Grill attracts an eclectic clientele — from President George W. Bush and state senators to downtown businessmen and die-hard locals. In 1980, Gus sold the beloved diner (to a cousin, of course) when he purchased Kappy’s, a full-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in Morton Grove since 1978.
Gus Alpogianis, brings more than 50 years of restaurant experience and a love of people and food to the T.A.G. table. George Alpogianis has had the privilege of working with great Chicago chefs, such as Chef Pierre Polin and Chef John Hogan, in addition to showcasing his skills at Lawry’s, Rosebud on Taylor Street and South Gate Cafe in Lake Forest. George’s culinary panache allows him to create delicious, well-rounded menus with a special touch for all T.A.G. restaurants as well as manage the cooks in the kitchens. Manolis Alpogianis gained experience working with Lettuce Entertain You and California Pizza Kitchen where his passion for people and stream-lined service rounds out the TAG team. Manolis’ focuses on the development and expansion of the America’ Dog brand.
In 1995, T.A.G. launched Carnelli’s Deli at Navy Pier, an Italian-style deli offering a simple yet complete menu of hearty sandwiches built on homemade breads, innovative salads with seasonal surprises, and “to-die-for” sweet treats. The first quick-service food tenant to move into Chicago’s beloved tourist attraction Navy Pier, Carnelli’s Deli has prospered through the years with its busy lunch and dinner business as well as catering for special events and corporate meetings.
America’s Dog at Navy Pier was born in 1996, debuting with a menu of 12 different “city” dogs, including: Atlanta, Baltimore, Charleston, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, and more. Since that time, America’s Dog menu has changed and expanded to over 18 different city dogs as the brothers travel the United States looking for new ways to dress a dog. With 5 locations, America’ Dog continues to expand not only it’s menu but with locations throughout the Chicagoland area. The latest location at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport has been a dream come true for the Alpogianis Family.