The restaurant business is definitely in the blood for the Makris family. In 1984, Thomas and Helen Makris, a Greek couple, opened up Anatoli Souvlaki in North Vancouver. In 2011, the torch was passed to sons Iani and Alexi, and in 2015, the brothers, along with cousin Daniel Bergman, opened The Greek by Anatoli in Yaletown–a modern mezze-style restaurant where the food is shared and soulful, and the vibe cozy and upbeat.
The Greek crew is at is again, adding a third restaurant to the portfolio, a sibling to Yaletown at 221 Carrall St. in Gastown.
Everyone is family, in a way, at The Greek, thanks to the share plates style of eating, starring succulent and meltingly tender braised Country Lamb or roast chicken served in a pan with rice, potatoes, and veggies, or offerings more demure in stature, like the grilled octopus, which are in no way demure in flavour.
“There’s something for everybody,” says co-owner Alexi Makris. Meat eaters will rejoice in the selection, however vegetarians, vegans, and kids can eat with relative ease here. They’ll launch with an all-day menu for lunch and dinner, daily.
Brunch is a possibility down the line, and The Greek will play it by ear when it comes to specials like Happy Hour. On the regular bar menu, however, you’ll find craft beers, about 8-10 wine selections, and a handful of craft cocktails.
The space, which has seen quite a few restaurants come and go in recent memory, has been given a thorough and thoughtful refresh that pays homage to history, both of the building (old pillars were unearth and painted) and family (portraits of the Makris family going back a couple of generations adorn the wall in the mezzanine dining room).
A beautiful rug serves as a focal point art piece, a testament to the past and present. The 2,000 square-foot space seats 60, and makes clever use of the space, turning some of the lower-ceilinged real estate into the kinds of charming, intimate tables you’ll hope you get.
Even the bathrooms are noteworthy, thanks to a beautiful Versace textured wall paper, perfect for selfies after a meal of Moussaka or Souvlaki and a cocktail from their bar.
Though once upon a time the century-old building served as a jail, it’s got what Alexi Makris says is a terrific sound system – perfect for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights when the DJ booth is occupied and the music is flowing.
“We do create a really fun vibe,” adds Makris.
The Greek in Gastown will open to the public on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Their hours will be daily from 11 a.m. to late. They are located at 221 Carrall St. in Vancouver.