Jim’s Pizza Paddle, 5832 W. Central Ave.

According to the Ohio Secretary of State registered trade name filings, Jim’s Pizza Paddle was created on March 11, 1974 by Dimitrios “Jim” Mitsopoulos. Jim’s Pizza Paddle was located on the east end of a small strip mall at the northwest corner of Central Avenue and Waldmar Road. It was at Jim’s where I tasted baklava for the first time and tried my first gyro as a kid. I remember seeing Jim often when I would ride my bike to the Sterling store located next to Jim’s Pizza to get my supply of lemonheads, burnt peanuts, a couple of packs of Lucky Lights candy cigarettes and a cold bottle of Faygo Moonshine. Or, maybe I got the moonshine warm at Centre. Anyway, I passed by Jim’s on my bike over many years and often stopped in to get a gyro as a teenager. It was always a pleasure to run into Jim. He always seemed like he was on the verge of yelling at me for something. But in a good way. Jim’s Pizza Paddle closed in 2001. In 2004 Jim opened and operated Dimitri’s in the strip mall (Timberstone Center) at King Road and Sylvania Avenue until his retirement in 2008. Jim passed away on November 25, 2020.

“Jim was born in the Village of Gonoussa in Greece on January 3, 1936, to Antonios and Efthymia Mitsopoulos. He spent his childhood in Greece with his four siblings and served honorably in the Greek Army. After his service he immigrated to Toronto where he met and married Athena Vergos. In 1972, he moved his family to Sylvania, Ohio and shortly after he opened Jim’s Pizza Paddle. For over 30 years he prided himself on serving the best homemade greek cuisine. He is known for his homemade grape leaves, gyros, pizza and greek salads.” – from obituary.