Charles Sarkis – an Armenian?

As I was reading “Boca Raton Magazine” in the doctor’s office, an article caught my eye. It was about a new restaurant in Boca Raton called Abe and Louie’s.

The owner is Charles Sarkis, originally from the Boston area, now a Palm Beach resident.
With the last name Sarkis, could he be Armenian? Probably, although I googled his name and found only that he is from “Middle Eastern” descent.

Hmmmm, makes you think.

Charles Sarkis sounds like an amazing man – restaurateur since age 24, owner & operator of over 35 restaurants, father of six, cancer survivor, philanthropist, and an active alumni of Georgetown University in Washington, DC. A very upstanding member of the community, one would say.

Charles fought hard to get where he is. After all, his father, Abe Sarkis (1913 to 1991) , was a famed (and feared) mobster in New England and New York with a powerful bookmaking business that lasted 50 years, from 1934 to the 1980’s.

Charles, living in his father’s shadow, wanted to shed himself of his father’s image. And shed, he did. In 1998 Mr. Sarkis opened his first Abe and Louie’s restaurant in Boston. The “Abe” is, in fact, a tribute to his late father.
Abe and Louie’s is a classic American Steakhouse, serving Prime cuts of steak, lamb, fresh seafood, an interesting array of appetizers, salads, soups, vegetables, and must-have desserts.

There’s nothing on the menu to suggest Mr. Sarkis might be Armenian, with two possible exceptions: the lamb shank, and the Abe and Louie salad.

I came across a 1998 review of the Boston restaurant which mentioned that the Abe and Louie salad was made from Bibb lettuce, blue cheese, apple slices with cinnamon – OK, here comes the “Armenian” part – pistachio nuts, and a hint of rose water.

AHA! So, perhaps Charles Sarkis IS Armenian. I called the new Boca Raton restaurant and asked if rose water is currently used in the Abe and Louie salad. Sadly, no; it’s served with a Dijon vinaigrette.

Oh well, at least they kept the pistachio nuts. As far as Mr. Sarkis being Armenian goes, that‘s still a mystery. I called the headquarters in Boston, but never heard back.

In my mind he is Armenian.

What say you?
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  1. David Blasco October 11, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Five will get you 10…

  2. Anonymous June 28, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Yes he is, his father shortened it from Sarkisian I am from Boston

  3. Robyn June 28, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Thanks! I thought so. Mystery solved.

  4. Anonymous July 24, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    He is Syrian catholic and Irish catholic.

  5. Robyn July 24, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Ah, interesting. So what you're saying is he's NOT Armenian??

  6. Anonymous January 6, 2012 at 3:28 am

    There are Armenians of the Syriac Catholic
    Rite. This does not prevent him from being Armenian.

    Another from Boston

  7. Anonymous February 20, 2012 at 12:54 am

    He is Lebanese. My name is Charles Sarkis. I know.

  8. Anonymous May 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I used to work for that company. He is Lebanese.

  9. Anonymous February 21, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    He is Lebanese. I worked a summer job landscape and errands for his family at their house in Westwood like 20 years ago. The guy who got me the job was Labanese.

    Another from Boston

  10. Anonymous February 28, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    I bet he is Armenian but his family came from Lebanon. As most people do not know history there was an Armenian Turkish war, which people either left Armenia and went to another country or most like died or survived somehow. I am 100% Armenian and live in Norwood, Ma 20 years ago

  11. Anonymous August 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    He is Lebanese. My father and uncles grew up with his his father in the South End of Boston, and stayed friendly with him until his death. Lived a couple of miles from his fathers house in Milton later on in life.

  12. Unknown August 28, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    He is lebonese, I know I knew abie and asked him when I was 15. Im louie


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