loading

Serving Augusta Since 1949

History

In 1949, Nicholas “Papou Nick” Ballas opened the doors to what would become Augusta’s oldest family-owned restaurant.  Born in Mytilini on the island of Lesvos, Greece, Nick came to the United States in approximately 1920 to begin a new life for himself.  After migrating to the south from New England, he worked in catering until the opportunity arose to begin his own business. Because few were familiar with Greek cuisine, Nick created a menu with mostly Italian creations, despite his own Greek heritage. The small restaurant with a northern flare quickly became a hub for businessmen, soldiers, and families. 

In 1954, Nick’s health began to fail. To help with the business, Nick’s son Chuck and Chuck’s wife Penny moved down from Massachusetts, with their three children in tow, Cynthia, Debbie, and Chuck Jr.  The couple went to work, falling in love with Augusta for its southern charm, good schools, and clean environment.  It didn’t take long for Chuck and Penny to add their own touches to the restaurant and they quickly became involved in the community. 

Chuck and Penny became the sole proprietors of Luigi’s when Nick died unexpectedly in a car accident in 1960. By that time, the couple was fully immersed in the community and continued on with the restaurant, working side by side.  Chuck, particularly, had fallen in love with the golf community, as evidenced by the golf memorabilia that dots the restaurant’s walls to this day. In the early days of the Masters tournament, Chuck would buy tournament tickets and distribute them to his clientele. As history would have it, Luigi’s became a popular dining spot for many of the tournament’s golfers, members, and various celebrities. 

In 1988, Chuck was ready to retire from the restaurant business.  His son Chuck Jr., with his wife Debi, had been running a small pizza place called Lil’ Luigi’s for over ten years. It was then that the business passed from the second to third generation. Chuck Jr. ran both restaurants for a time, but wound up selling Lil’ Luigi’s to his cousin, who ran it for a few years before it closed.  Just as Chuck and Penny’s children grew up working the family business, Chuck Jr. and Debi’s three children, fourth generation Penelope, Bebe, and Claudia, did the same over the following decades.

In June 2017, we lost our beloved father and grandfather, Chuck Sr. at the age of 91. There is no doubt he is swinging a golf club on the most beautiful heavenly course and watching over the generations he left behind with pride.

To this day, Luigi’s has remained an Augusta tradition. Chuck Jr. continues to operate the business.  His mother, Penny, still makes the Greek appetizers and pastries and can be found on any night sitting at the “family table.”  Chuck’s oldest daughter Penelope Ballas-Stewart works side by side with her father as hostess and manager.  On any given night, you may find a member of Luigi’s fifth generation present or being groomed in the family legacy….all beneath the portrait that hangs at the front of the restaurant of the man who began it all… “Papou” Nick.

Hours

DINNER

Monday to Saturday
5:00pm
10:00pm

LUNCH

Friday
Only
11:30am
2:00pm
Open at 5:00pm on Sunday April 3rd and 10th for Masters Week.
(706) 722-4056
590 Broad St. Augusta, GA 30901

Testimonials

Contact

(706) 722-4056


info@luigisinc.com

590 Broad St, Augusta, Georgia 30901
Your Message Has Been Sent! Thank you for contacting us.
*Please call for takeout orders

Top