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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

As a consummate foodie, I enjoy both fine and casual dining. I am always on the lookout for a new restaurant to try. I was impressed during a recent visit to Astro Burger in Draper. Utah is home to several independent burger chains, but I found it fascinating to learn the history behind this Greek-themed restaurant.

Back in the late 1970s, John Lyhnakis decided to move his family from California to Utah because he felt it was a better environment to raise a family. He also felt Utah had enough ties so he could honor his Greek heritage.

In California, John and his cousin Angelo Tsoutsounakis ran a restaurant together. In 1981, the two cousins entered into a partnership again and opened Astro Burger at 3900 S. State Street. One of their trademark items was the Astro Burger, a quarter pound burger with pastrami. The menu also included a variety of other items including Gyros, chicken souvlaki (to honor their Greek background), homemade onion rings, milkshakes and French fries.

The business was so successful that John and Angelo opened an additional restaurant at 6800 S. State a few years later. Eventually, John ran one store while Angelo ran the other. John's sons, George, Michael and Vaselis, grew up in the business and helped their father open two more stores, one in South Jordan and the other in Draper.

With John mostly retired now, each Astro Burger is set up so one Lyhnakis brother is always on-site to ensure the best customer service. Throughout Astro Burger's 25-year history, George says they have worked to be consistent with their menu and prices. The business is family-owned and operated, and many customers have become close friends.

George tells me the family would like to open more Astro Burger locations, but doing so would require changes in the business model, so nothing has been finalized yet. In the meantime, he plans to continue providing customers with the same high-quality cuisine they have become accustomed to for the past 25 years.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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