Athenian Grill owner and chef Ilias Pappas serving up food on the opening day of his new restaurant.
Lexington, KY – After months of renovation work and preparation, the popular Athenian Grill food truck has found a permanent home in a brick-and-mortar restaurant on South Ashland Avenue.
Owner and chef Ilias Pappas, a native of Greece who started the food truck last fall, welcomed diners to the new restaurant when it opened on Oct. 14 in the space formerly occupied by Belle’s Bakery. Local firm alt32 provided the new design plans for the space, which include a completely reworked interior and patio.
This summer, Pappas launched a successful crowdsourcing campaign to raise funds on Kickstarter.com. The project had a goal of $15,000 and in the end took in $18,250 to help open the new restaurant.
The restaurant has deli-style service, where customers can order at the counter and sit at the few tables inside or outside and take out is available. On the second floor, The Athenian Grill will soon have a marketplace with a few shelves of authentic Greek items, such as spices, for sale. Each night, Pappas will also take reservations for one party (up to six people) who will be served a full-service dinner in an intimate setting upstairs.
Pappas says the need to have a brick-and-mortar restaurant came from frequent requests for catering services while he was operating his food truck, which would require him to have a commercial kitchen.
With a larger kitchen to operate from, Pappas says he will be able to prepare a wider variety of Greek dishes, which many people probably have never tried before.
“We’re focusing on real, traditional cuisine,” he said previously. “About 90 percent of our menu dishes, you’re not going to be able to find them anywhere else in the area.”
For more information about the restaurant, visit www.atheniangrilllex.com.