Classmates in Memory

Mary Ann Cariotis (Tatakis)


Staff Writer

Maryann Tatakis, inspiration behind Greek Cafe & Bakery in Bishop Arts


Maryann Cariotis Tatakis was the essence of the Greek Cafe & Bakery in Oak Cliff.

A 1965 graduate of Sunset High School, she had participated in her family’s businesses over the years and even had one of her own.

About five years ago, she was the inspiration for a Greek restaurant she and her family opened in Duncanville. She later suggested the cafe move to its current location in the Bishop Arts District.

Tatakis, 65, died Saturday of natural causes at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, where she had been hospitalized for eight weeks.

While Tatakis had no official title with the cafe — she helped make pastries and her famous cabbage rolls — she was the face of the restaurant, said her daughter, Joanna Tatakis of Dallas.

“She would come and visit with the customers,” she said. “She was the spirit of the restaurant, and she still is. Everybody knew her. … She was Mom.”

Tatakis was born in New Britain, Conn., and grew up in Oak Cliff. She attended East Texas State University, now Texas A&M-Commerce, and joined the family business, Sports Novelties Inc. The company managed the mementos sold at conventions and major sports venues, from the NCAA Final Four to several Super Bowls.

Tatakis had her own Greek import business for a while.

“She would travel around the United States to different Greek festivals, and we would sell imports,” her daughter said.

At the cafe, Tatakis used her spirit and passion “to talk the place up,” she said.

“She would meet you and in five minutes she’d be your best friend,” her daughter said. “She loved life, she loved people and she loved me.”

In addition to her daughter, Tatakis is survived by her husband, Mike Tatakis of Dallas, and a brother, Nick Cariotis of Duncanville.






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07/14/13 04:43 PM #1    

Linda Fielding (Pierce)

My heart is sad to hear this, I have wonderful memories of Mary Ann from school.  We were friends, ran around together. Lost touch, I talked to her about 2 yrs ago, told me about her daughter & how proud she was of her.  My deepest sympathies to the family...♥

09/07/13 09:37 AM #2    

JoEllen Glasgow (McVey)

Warm and friendly, I will always remember her smile and laugh.  She just made you feel like having a great day!

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