Camarinos Voulgaris was born in 1868 on the island of Hydra, one of the thousands of Greek Isles. Hydra today is a famous tourist attraction, known for its simple beauty.
At the turn of the century, Camarinos moved his family from an island in Greece to Braila, Romania, a port city on the Danube river. Braila was at the crossroads of European trade by virtue of its location.
Traffic on the Black Sea, from Turkey, Armenia, Israel, and Greece, flowed into Braila, the furthest port of call for the largest maritime vessels of the day. Trade on the Danube came from Germany, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. The beautiful blue Danube is the largest river in Europe, immortalized in song by Johannes Strauss. The main export from Braila was food products. It is no wonder then, that grandfather Camarinos opened a restaurant in this exciting city.
The restaurant thrived, specializing in traditional Romanian cooking – stuffed cabbage and mamaliga (corn bread), matzo ball soup, and mititei (hamburgers of beef and lamb.) The locals, travelers, and sailors appreciated the home-style food and friendly service and helped Camarinos expand his business, by the 1920's, a coffee shop, much like the Starbucks of today, was opened.
The Voulgaris family lived in back of the restaurant. Camarinos had nine children, the youngest of whom was Hristos, Adrian's father. Young Hristos began his restaurant training as soon as he could walk. He brought water to the tables, cleaned up and entertained the customers. The brothers and sisters worked together in the restaurant, continuing the family tradition.