Mr. Sub was founded in Toronto, Canada, in 1968 by two friends, Jack Levinson (a gym teacher), and Earl Linzon (an accounting clerk) with $1500 start-up capital. The first Mr. Sub restaurant (then called Mr. Submarine) opened at 130 Yorkville Avenue on the ground floor of a converted Victorian row house.
Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis was born in Macedonia in 1949 - he joined the merchant marine but in 1968 jumped ship in Halifax to avoid the draft back home. He eventually ended up in Toronto where he became a dishwasher at the Mr. Sub in Yorkville.
He married Efrosini "Frances" Boulis in 1971 and in 1972 he was still filing appeals deferring deportation back to Greece where he faced likely imprisonment. He's pictured with wife and son Christro.
By 1972 he was part owner of Mr. Sub and responsible for franchising - the chain had expanded to 12 shops in Toronto and Mr. Boulis was making $500.00 a week. The Dining Out column from the Toronto Star Jan 15 1972 compared Toronto submarine shops (as they were new at the time) and Mr. Submarine was "senior sub spot in town".
Gus and family were able to stay in Canada although in 1976 after their second son was born Frances returned to Greece with the boys and filed for divorce. In 1977 Boulis sold his interest in Mr. Sub (after growing it to 200 stores) and moved to the States where he started a number of companies including the Miami Subs franchise. In 1994 he started the company SunCruz which ran "cruises to nowhere" - the boats were floating casinos outside the reach of Florida law.
As a Greek national, Boulis ran into a law barring foreigners from owning American commercial vessels. Although he had become a US citizen in 1997, the US government argued he had purchased most of his fleet of 11 gambling vessels before becoming a citizen. In 2000 the case was settled and Boulis agreed to sell the fleet and stay out of the floating casino business.
The buyers were Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff and New York businessman Adam Kidan - they made false representations to banks, investors and the government in order to raise $147.5 million to buy SunCruz. The relationship quickly soured between Boulis and the buyers - Kidan and Boulis accused each other of lying, Kidan alleged that Boulis stabbed him with a pen in a meeting and told reporters Boulis was trying to kill him. Boulis went to court to attempt to regain control of the company.
On Feb 6, 2001, Boulis was ambushed and murdered in a mob-style hit - he was leaving his Ft. Lauderdale office when his car was boxed in by three other cars and he was shot 4 times by a semi-automatic pistol. After the assailants drove off, he managed to drive some distance before he crashed into a tree across the road from a Miami Subs outlet, dying later in hospital.
It wasn't until 2005 that Anthony Ferrari, Anthony Moscatiello and James "Pudgy" Fiorillo were charged with first degree murder (and conspiracy to commit murder). Kidan would tell investigators that he had feared Boulis would try to hire the mob to have him killed so he reached out to the mob to protect him first - he paid protection money in part by buying wine from Moscatiello which was served on the SunCruz boats. According to prosecutors, if Boulis regained control of SunCruz that revenue stream would dry up.
In 2012 James Fiorillo flipped and pleaded guilty to conspiracy and agreed to testify in return for time served.
In 2013 Anthony Ferrari was convicted
In 2015 the case was wrapped up with a guilty conviction for Anthony Moscietello.