Going Greek: Munster Native Opening Franchise’s First IN Spot

MUNSTER, IN — A Northwest Indiana city is welcoming one of the fastest-growing franchises on April 16, when doors at The Simple Greek open for its first guests. The fast casual Greek restaurant sits at 9611 Calumet Avenue in Munster, and will feature real Greek food from authentic family recipes prepared right in front of you with fresh ingredients. But why Munster?

Munster native Adam Robertson’s love for his hometown and great food are why.

Robertson, a financial analyst, says he’s always loved the hospitality aspect of restaurants and meeting new people. Spending his workdays in the Chicagoland area, Robertson says he often sees exciting places popping up in the big city.

While Munster has other fast casual concept restaurants such as Chipotle and a variety of popular franchises including Panera Bread, Robertson said he wanted more. So, when he first came across The Simple Greek a couple years ago, Robertson says he realized it could be franchised as it’s expected to nearly double in locations by the end of the year.

“I wanted to bring it to this area where I grew up,” Robertson said. “I think the town is ready for something more, something new, that gives you the options to eat healthier. Munster does great burgers, we do great sub places, but I wanted to do something different.”

And that’s just what Robertson and his wife did.

Robertson said he and his wife wanted to create a great place that’s different and fun, where they could take the best things from their old jobs and give people the opportunity to grow.

Knowing that opening a new place in the constantly changing food business is a risk, the business-savvy man says he and his wife knew The Simple Greek was the right fit when they first saw one.

Robertson says he’s done years of researching various restaurants and franchises, on top of his work in business for nearly 20 years. The Simple Greek, he says, has the type of food he personally loves, with an elevated type of experience.

“Like many living in Northwest Indiana, I am very excited to see our community embracing new and exciting restaurants, shopping and other concepts that complement many of the regions staples,” Robertson said. “Seeing a growing desire for a variety of healthier cuisine options in Northwest Indiana, I thought The Simple Greek and its modern Greek/Mediterranean, fast casual concept would be a nice addition to our community.”

The Simple Greek’s menu has many options including the healthier cuisine choices.

“You pick either a pita or a bowl with rice, lentils or salad as a base, then choose one or more of our freshly cut and delicious protein options including our traditional gyro, flavorful chicken gyro grilled chicken or grilled steak,” Robertson said. “You can then top your creation with a variety of locally sourced fresh vegetables, imported oil, feta cheese, spices and of course our freshly made in-house sauces of hummus, garlic cream and tzatziki.”

So, whether you want a salad with grilled chicken, or big fat Greek gyro with fries, the sky is the limit.

Don’t forget dessert, as Robertson says they have traditional Greek desserts like Baklava, Rizogalo, Baklava Cheesecake and an array of other traditional Greek fare.

Location was another factor in their decision, as The Simple Greek sits in a complex that’s part of a multi-year development. Robertson theirs is the second business in the complex, aside from a Marriott.

“The whole area – Munster and the surrounding community – is growing in terms of the types of restaurants and shopping coming in,” Robertson said. “The Simple Greek complimenting a trend that’s been evolving over the last 8 to 10 years. We’re between pioneering and maturity.”

Robertson clarifies this area is a redevelopment and update, as Munster never really had a true “downtown” area.

“This development is trying to make this a ‘downtown,’ as the developer described it as a town within a town,” Robertson said. “Three Floyds Brewpup is right across the street and they just announced a big two-and-a-half year project as well. I’m excited about The Simple Greek being here.”

Robertson said Chicago-based Roti was influential during this process.

“They’re really doing things right as it’s fast-casual, Mediterranean-style food,” Robertson said. “Theirs leans a little more Middle Eastern where mine leans a little more Greek, but they really impressed me with their friendly employees, their look and their growth.”

Robertson says they’ve hired more than 30 employees and training is underway.

“We want to help people grow and we want to take care of our people,” Robertson said. “We’re trying to build this and set it up in such a way where we create an opportunity for people.”

Robertson and his wife’s ultimate goal he says is to grow this company and open multiple locations in the area.

For now, he’s excited about their April 16 opening and says thanks to social media engagement, community events and various sponsorships, he feels more confident now that people are very exctied about The Simple Greek.

The Simple Greek will be open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week starting Monday.

Make sure you go and try two of Robertson’s favorites, the chicken gyro and Greek fries, as he describes the fries as a delectible dish of fresh-cut fries, with feta cheese, imported vinegar, oregano and other spices.

For more information including a full menu, visit thesimplegreek.com.

Article sourced from http://patch.com/indiana/zionsville/going-greek-munster-native-opening-franchises-first-spot