A fast-casual Greek chain created by a CNBC reality star makes its Connecticut debut Tuesday in Norwalk, with the proprietors considering additional locations down the road in Fairfield and Stamford.
The Simple Greek opens at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at 440 Westport Ave., with Mayor Harry Rilling scheduled to swing through Friday afternoon for a grand opening when the restaurant is offering $1 gyros during the lunch hour. The Simple Greek reactivates a storefront previously home to a Muscle Maker Grill franchise location, with The Simple Greek’s staff totaling about 25 people.
Bringing The Simple Greek to Connecticut is George Pertesis, along with his parents John and Maria and sister Christina. The idea came to the Pertesis family after seeing an episode of “The Profit” on CNBC two years ago, with the show chronicling attempts by entrepreneurs to win financial backing from investor Marcus Lemonis. The Simple Greek concept came about from Lemonis’ work to help a Pittsburgh-area pita stand called My Big Fat Greek Gyro, featured on “The Profit.”
Residents of Trumbull, the Pertesis family has its own roots in Greek cuisine, with John having extensive experience with area restaurants and the family’s heritage on Andros in the Greek isles. And George Pertesis is a budding serial entrepreneur, having competed in the 2016 Fairfield StartUp business plan contest hosted by Fairfield University with an idea for Thrivio, which would create a social media platform for people with disabilities to connect and rate products they use.
“We saw the TV show; we inquired about it,” he said. “We wanted to become franchisees and two years later we’re here.”
Under the slogan “Discover your inner Greek,” The Simple Greek allows diners to build their own pitas or bowls, to include traditional gyros with a range of toppings, sauces and seasonings, and wine and beer served. The Norwalk location is the seventh nationally, with John Pertesis saying the family chose the Westport Avenue site for the activity along its retail strip and its proximity to corporate offices, with The Simple Greek offering catering — or BYOP, as George Pertesis dubs it, for “build your own party.”
The family is considering additional locations in Fairfield and possibly Stamford, with no firm plans in place. In Norwalk, the Simple Greek is open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the grand opening $1 gyro offer running from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.
John Pertesis promises that will not be all that tempts the taste buds.
“All the cooking is done in front of you,” he said. “The sauce, the vinegar, the honey — it’s all from Greece.”
Article sourced from: http://www.thehour.com/business/article/Build-your-own-gyro-chain-The-Simple-Greek-10945980.php