Around Town

End of an era at Showmars

The Story

The Showmars on Third Street, tucked in among the high rises between Tryon and Church streets, is losing its family of managers.

The Facts

Pete and Kathy Kushell have run the Greek eatery for more than three decades. They have now bought their own restaurant, a 60-seater in Gaston County’s Stanley they’re calling Pete’s Grill.

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7 reasons we love this Showmars

Showmars is a Charlotte institution, but this particular restaurant is dear to our hearts and stomachs:

(1) Pete Kushell began cooking at the tucked-away spot 37 years ago. Back then, it was called Mr. C’s.

(2) He wooed Kathy when she was a customer, and they eventually got married.

showmars-manager-and-wife-charlotte

(3) She worked the front of the house and all four of their kids worked there too: the boys cooking, the girls waiting tables, running the register. When the kids were little, they’d even come in as toddlers, strapped in carseats.

(4) Those kids – all great-looking, well-mannered, delightful folks.

(5) Pete came up with quite a bit of the Showmars menu, including the pork chops and cornbread.

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(6) If you go enough, like we do, they know your name and what you like to eat. The baristas at the Starbucks I go to almost daily still don’t know either of those.

(7) They only charged $1 for pita bread. At other Showmars (which set their own prices), I’ve been charged more than double.

You love them, too

– “Good luck to a super couple. We will be visiting them in Stanley, a “Friendly Town” with wonderful residents. This is Stanley’s gain and Charlotte’s loss.” – CharlotteObserver.com commenter

C5’s Take

While we love the increasing urbanization of uptown, we are going to miss the old Charlotte folks like Kathy and Pete. With rents rising, the owner of Showmars says he might not even be able to stay in this location when his lease expires. Truly a loss for Charlotte. But we do wish the Kushells well.

Photos: Robert Lahser / Charlotte Observer

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