Charles F. Sarkis

January 30, 1940March 11, 2018

Charles F. Sarkis passed peacefully from Earth to Heaven on March 11, 2018, at the age of 78 after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He grew up in Milton, Mass. and was the only son of Abraham and Dorothy Sarkis. Charlie graduated from Georgetown University with his degree in Business and later his Master’s from Boston College. It was during his time at Georgetown, while frequently dining out, that Charlie began dreaming of owning restaurants, a dream that he would go on to pursue and achieve. Charlie began his restaurant career in 1964, purchasing Boraschi’s restaurant in Boston. He then opened Charley’s on Newbury Street in 1970 and continued adding new restaurants and concepts along the East Coast, eventually creating one of Boston’s largest and most successful restaurant groups, Back Bay Restaurant Group (BBRG). BBRG owned and operated over 40 restaurants, including 15 Joe’s American Bar & Grill locations; 12 Papa Razzi restaurants and his flagship enterprise, Abe & Louie’s, an award-winning steakhouse with locations in Boca Raton, FL and Boston. BBRG employed over 3,400 people, and Charlie took great pride in knowing he had contributed to his beloved city of Boston and helped build careers for his valuable employees. His focus was always on the “guest", by providing highest quality dining establishments,effectively changing the dining landscape and helping to regentrify the Back Bay. A dedicated entrepreneur, Charlie was also a former owner of Wonderland Greyhound Park in Revere, Mass. Charlie was married to the late Nancy Hennessy in 1964, from whom he was later divorced. He is survived by their children Nancy, Charles Jr., Paul, Patrick, Amy and Sarah and five grandchildren, Bailey, Holden, Chase, Luke and Finleigh and by his sister, Dorothy Morkis.

In 1999, Charlie married Jolene Sykes and he is survived by her and her daughter, Kate and three grandchildren, Hunt, Raleigh and Davis. They made their second home in Palm Beach in 1999, and quickly shifted their work schedules and calendars to become permanent residents here. Above all, Charlie was a loving husband, father and friend who loved life and pursued the very best of it with passion and exuberance. He was a devout Christian, who generously shared his own faith and healing with others and lived life with purpose, feeling blessed for each and every day he was given. A Memorial Mass is scheduled for 10:00 am on Saturday, March 17th at St. Edwards Catholic Church in Palm Beach, Fl.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in memory of Charles to support Dr. Patrick Wen’s Research Fund at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284. Please write checks to Dana-Farber and include Dr. Wen’s Research Fund in the memo section. To give online, please visit


  • Memorial Service Saturday, March 17, 2018

Charles F. Sarkis

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March 18, 2018

So saddened to hear of Charlie’s passing. He was a kind and generous man who went out of his way to help my son years ago. We will not forget his generous spirit... may he find peace. Deepest sympathies to his children and family.

Noreen Dolan

March 17, 2018

Thank you Charles for changing the art of service in our industry to be something we were all proud of...... Love to the entire Sarkis family you are in our thoughts and prayers.....
Noreen and Jim and
Staff at Joes Short Hills

Joseph Farjani

March 17, 2018

My first job after college (20 years ago) was with BBRG in the Papa Razzi concept. I will never forget the energy and the love a person could have for their Job and passion...
Mr SARKIS was an amazing man and model to all of us, his expectations were high, but achievable with hard work!
God bless his soul. My condolences to his children and family

Rick Snyder

March 17, 2018

To the Sarkis Family
My deepest condolences.


March 16, 2018

A wonderful man, boss and teacher. he always had time for me whether at work or just stopping on the street to say"hello". I will always remember him and his family fondly.

D. F.

March 13, 2018

To the beloved Sarkis Family, may your hearts be not sadden for long. May you find happiness in the memories of Charles and to find comfort from one another. May the strength of God sustain you.