Arthur Achilles “Archie” Cocoros, a retired law clerk who had operated his family’s Belair Market lunch counter, died of multiple myeloma Jan. 11 at Stella Maris Hospice. The Baldwin resident was 82.
Born in Baltimore and raised on The Alameda, he was the son of James Cocoros and his wife, Mary Kalkanis.
He was a 1954 City College graduate and obtained a degree at the Mount Vernon School of Law. He served in the National Guard.
He joined his father and an uncle in working at Cocoros Brothers, a breakfast and lunch counter at the old Belair Market at Forrest, Gay and Ensor streets. Family members said the business was founded by the family in 1922.
Mr. Cocoros took over the counter in 1976 and worked alongside a cousin, Stavros Cocoros. The counter served market patrons and workers from a nearby Baltimore Gas and Electric facility, among other businesses.
After his cousin was unable to work, Mr. Cocoros ran the business.
“The lights went out on another corner of old Baltimore yesterday,” reported The Sun in a 1996 story when he closed his stand. “Loyal patrons came three generations deep to Cocoros Brothers in Belair Market to get one last taste of hamburgers and hot dogs topped with heaps of onions and chili. The food has a flavor like no other, they said.”
His hamburgers were fried first, then layered in large pans and baked.
“You could have them served with raw onions — he never had relish — or with cooked onions and mustard and chili,” said his wife, Cleanthe “Clio” Sitaras.
He made his own chili meat sauce. Mr. Cocoros would never release his recipe, but would make up batches of the chili to serve at friends’ barbecues.
“In his later years at the market, he also made cheese steak subs and cold cut subs,” his wife said. “His subs were delicious too. The old market was a lost way of life.”
After the market closed, Mr. Cocoros worked as a law clerk for his brother, attorney P. Paul Cocoros, at his Saint Paul Street office. He retired in 2018.
He attended the theater and opera. He also attended his grandchildren’s sports events and concerts.
A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, 2504 Cub Hill Road, where he was a member. He was a former member of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation.
Survivors include his wife of of 52 years, a medical technologist; a daughter, Barbara Cocoros Martin of Mount Laurel, N.J.; a son, James Cocoros of Brooklyn, N.Y.; two brothers, P. Paul Cocoros and Harry Cocoros, both of Baltimore; and three grandchildren.