Chef Mike Voted Richmond’s
Top 3 Most Personable Chefs –
Richmond’s Best & Worst 2014
All Family Members are On-Duty Daily
The Grapevine family restaurant started with the ambition of one man, Michael Trak, also known as “Chef Mike.” Arriving in America in 1971 with no more than a five-dollar bill and a pocket full of family recipes, from the moment he arrived here he began to cook, bake, and sauté his way through the restaurant business. Shortly after, in 1972, his wife Mary followed him. They continued to work tirelessly side by side for the years to come. While “Chef Mike” was working his magic in the kitchen mother Mary was in the dining room greeting and serving their guests.
In 1993 Chef Mike and Mary decided that enough was enough and no matter what they would open up their own restaurant. Chef Mike searched long and hard to find the perfect location for his new restaurant and the perfect name to go along with it. Neither Chef Mike nor Mary chose the name. In fact, a close family friend who stood beside the Trak’s during all of their hardships picked it. Her name was Tracy, a Greek angel they called her.
Unfortunately Tracy passed away in a car accident not long after her name was chosen. Although Tracy’s death was a great tragedy, it did not deter Mike and Mary from honoring the wishes of their fallen friend. Finally, after months of deliberation, a location was chosen and The Grapevine was born. While construction of the restaurant was finalized, Chef Mike and Mary actually slept in the establishment overseeing every last detail. They dreamed of a place where families could come and feel like they were home. Once the last brick was laid, what had started as only a dream became a beautiful reality. After only six months of opening the doors, the Richmond Metro guide voted The Grapevine the #1 family owned and operated restaurant in Richmond.
With guidance from their parents, Mike and Mary’s children (Mitchell and Marianne) quickly learned the family business and brought a new generation of patrons to the restaurant. Mitchell and Marianne continued to implement the family element into Grapevine with the addition of Mitchell’s wife, Rita. Rita handles the office and administration part of the business. Chef Mike, mother Mary, Mitchell, Marianne, Rita, and many others work every day to make whoever steps through the doors feel like they are at home.
The Trak family not only treats their customers as if they are royalty, they reflect that same passion onto their employees as well. They are the most humble and generous people you will ever meet. Above all else they put their love of friendship, country, and family before anything else. Their years of experience as a family business not only reflect in the kitchen and the dining room but through the community as a whole. As the years have gone by, the Trak family has given over $500,000 to local charities and organizations, solidifying their role as a prominent Richmond staple. Most recently The Grapevine was rewarded for having the friendliest wait staff by Richmond Magazine and voted best restaurant north of the James.
On behalf of the entire Trak family and all who work with them we would like to extend a big smile and a very friendly hello. Welcome to The Grapevine! We hope you enjoy the tradition that we have built and continue to carry on through the years.
Bon Appetite! From our family to yours.
Michael, Mary, Mitchell, and Marianne Trak.
Note: The Grapevine Restaurant has no affiliation with the Traks Restaurant.