‘No show, no promotion, all action’

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BY BRADY RHOADES: Andreas Psaras sat in his restaurant Sunday morning, stunned.

George Psaras, his brother and co-owner of Harry’s Cafe in Stanton, died in a car accident in Lancaster on July 13.

“He was my protector, my brother,” Andreas said. “He was everything to me. He taught me everything.”

George Psaras was beloved in Stanton, Garden Grove and around Orange County. Locals remember him for his expert cooking and charity work.

Each Thanksgiving, Harry’s Cafe serves more than 1,000 free meals to those in need.

BY BRADY RHOADES: Andreas Psaras sat in his restaurant Sunday morning, stunned.

George Psaras, his brother and co-owner of Harry’s Cafe in Stanton, died in a car accident in Lancaster on July 13.

“He was my protector, my brother,” Andreas said. “He was everything to me. He taught me everything.”

George Psaras was beloved in Stanton, Garden Grove and around Orange County. Locals remember him for his expert cooking and charity work.

Each Thanksgiving, Harry’s Cafe serves more than 1,000 free meals to those in need.

While volunteering, Stanton Mayor David Shawver got to know George.

“The thing I liked most about him is he always got the work done,” said Shawver, who recalls George preparing dozens of turkeys without saying a word or taking a break. “He was not only well known, but well loved. He was very generous.”

“He’d do anything for anybody,” Andreas added. “He couldn’t say no. That was George.”

George Psaras was born in Greece in 1958.

Andreas, who is three years younger, said from the get-go his brother sought challenges and never settled for second place. He also didn’t go in for excuses. When he broke his arm at age 10, he never complained. In fact, he tried to hide it from his mother because he didn’t want her to worry.

The brothers emigrated to the United States in the 1980s.

In 1987, they — along with other partners — opened Harry’s Place in Garden Grove. In 1990, they took over another Harry’s Place in Orange County. And in the late 1990s the brothers teamed up — just the two of them — to open Harry’s Cafe on Katella Avenue in Stanton. Today, there are Harry’s Cafes in Stanton, Huntington Beach and Perris.

George was quiet, driven, and incredibly hard-working. He was at home in the kitchen, where he ran the operation like a caring-but-stern military commander. He aimed for perfection.

“He was all day long in the kitchen,” Andreas said. “That was his favorite spot. He could cook anything. He didn’t let any plate get out of there without his supervision.”

Locals appreciated his professionalism and attention to detail.

“George, that was delicious!” they’d say.

He’d light up.

George, a father of two and brother to Andreas and two sisters, was a faithful servant at St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Anaheim. His devotion and discipline showed during Lent, when he ate a spoonful of honey, no more, every day for two weeks.

Jesus didn’t eat for 40 days, he figured, so it was his duty to try to follow suit.

“He was a Christian,” Andreas said. “But no show, no promotion, all action.”

George enjoyed hiking, climbing and hunting. He stayed in shape, even as he approached his 60th birthday this August. Family members described him as a “ram.”

One time, he wore out his dogs while on an outdoors adventure. George, per usual, chose the highest peak to climb. When he had fully descended, his dogs splayed out to take a nap. George promptly did 40 pushups.

A viewing and funeral were held earlier this week. Those who wish to pay their respects can donate to one of two of George’s cherished causes: the “Building Fund” at his church (405 N. Dale Ave., Anaheim, CA. 92801); or High Desert Quail Forever, Chapter #3138, 16699 Stoddard Well Road, Victorville, CA. 92395.

Meanwhile, regulars at Harry’s have been offering their condolences to the Andreas family.

Some gaze at the kitchen, out of habit.

“Once he got in the restaurant, he wouldn’t leave,” Andreas said, adding that it was not unusual for George to work 17-hour days. “Only God could take him away.”

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