When Westminster was first laid out by William Winchester in 1764, it was located on one of the three main routes west in what we now know as Carroll County. Today these routes are known as Route 30, Route 140, and Route 26.
Winchester formed Westminster at a point one day's travel between Reisterstown and Taneytown on one of these main routes used by settlers as they traveled west.
Its emphasis on public safety and the promotion of low taxes, good roads and a pro-business environment encouraged many travelers to stay in the Westminster and Carroll County area.
Not to be overlooked were the good hotels, inns, restaurants and provisioning stores that were quickly established in Westminster to meet the needs of the stream of folks using those routes
That tradition of good restaurants and stores remains in Carroll County and the Westminster area 250 years later, a tradition celebrated with the annual Carroll County Restaurant Week which was held this year Aug. 17-24.
According to "What Ever Happened to Our Hotels," by former Historical Society of Carroll County curator Lillian Shipley, "Around the turn of the century Westminster had seven churches, seven hotels, and eighteen saloons…
The inn located in the Main Court Hotel may have been the first restaurant in town. It was located at the corner of Main and Court Street before it was unceremoniously torn down in the 1940s.
According to Shipley, Main Court "was a handsome old pre-Revolutionary War tavern which accommodated stagecoach travelers on the Pittsburgh-Baltimore route. Built about 1770, it was billed as a place where all conveniences of the period are available in the 40 rooms, with stabling for 150 horses."
In the early days, Carroll County was settled by the Germans in the northern county, English in the southern portion and the Scotch-Irish in the western and north-western areas.
As was reported earlier in the Eagle Archives, many restaurant owners came to Westminster from Greece.
The late Tula Lefteris and her family owned the City Restaurant and Lefteris Food Market for many years before they retired from the business in the 1980s.
The American Restaurant and Central Restaurant in downtown Westminster were owned by Greek immigrants.
The Sharkey family, of Greek descent, owned Sharkey's Cove for 30 years.
The late Tass Samios, a local restaurateur and grocery store owner, was born in Kythera, Greece.
George Dimitrios Sirinakis was from Skyros, a small island in Greece. He, literally, hopped off a boat in the port of Baltimore in October of 1957, married a local girl, Zoe Amprazis, and started working in the family restaurant business, Harry's Lunch, on Main Street in Westminster.
Harry's Main Street had been started in 1946 by Zoe's parents, Greek immigrants Harry and Bessie Amprazis, at 54 West Main Street, next door to J. C. Penney's.
And on the restaurant's other side? Lefteris' grocery store.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun