Greeks | South Carolina Public Radio


“G” is for Greeks. Greek immigrants began arriving in South Carolina at the turn of the 20th century, seeking to escape the economic stagnation of their own country. They quickly found a niche in urban areas as entrepreneurs within the service sector—starting out as pushcart merchants. Within a few years of arrival, they were able to invest in storefront businesses such as confectionaries and restaurants. The Greek-owned restaurant became a common feature on the main street of many Carolina towns and cities. Greeks did not reside in ethnic enclaves and by the 1930s were well established in middle-class neighborhoods. The formation of permanent settlement resulted in the building of Greek Orthodox churches in the state’s major cities and towns. The church became the center of Greek cultural and religious life for immigrants and successive generations.