Harry's Place
Harry's Place

From American Dream to Greek Tragedy

Harry Koskos came to America in 1912 from Greece. In the years between world wars, he operated a well-known downtown restaurant. By 1935 a new larger location was opened at Market & 11th Streets, across from the Patten Hotel.

In this undated photo postcard view, Sophia & Harry Koskos pose with their daughter Catherine at Harry’s Place restaurant. Around them, customers glance up from their meals. A sense of pride, hard work, and service is frozen in time.


Source: Debbie Conner Postcard Collection

Harry Koskos and James Cameron (of Cameron Hill fame) shared the same cause of their untimely deaths. Both died from accidental carbolic acid poisoning. Harry was only 42 when he was reported to have taken a fatal dose, mistaking it for medication early one Monday morning.


Searches of digitized newspapers uncovered a prophetic story from 15-years earlier. Reported as Harry's 'lover', a 21-year old girl from Pikeville, TN, committed suicide by ingesting carbolic acid. Dramatically doing so in a cab parked outside Harry's Place.

The next day, a short paragraph in the same paper noted that Harry called the reporter - requesting a correction be made; that he was in fact, her husband.

No records of their marriage have been found to corroborate this claim.

In 1926 - Harry would marry Sofia Doriza in Birmingham, Alabama.

A 1951 Chattanooga News-Free Press photo by John Goforth shows the former Harry's Steak House at 11th and Market streets being torn down in 1951 to clear space for a parking lot.

Read more by Mark Kennedy at TIMESFREEPRESS.COM

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