Nick Mickelis endured unbelievable hardship and starvation during World War II. Invading forces had occupied Greece, and at a very young age Nick joined the Greek Navy and fought with the allies to liberate Greece. In 1948, after the war, Nick Mickelis immigrated from Patmos, Greece to America. Seeing the Statue of Liberty and passing through Ellis Island were his first recollections of his new home.
Nick arrived by train with only $2.50 in his pocket, a piece of paper pinned to his jacket with the word "Houston" written on it (Nick could not speak English) and a dream to make a better life in this great country. He immediately began working in his brother's restaurant as a dishwasher and clean-up man and soon learned to cook. Within two years, he had put aside enough money between working in the restaurant and painting houses to buy a barbecue restaurant.