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New Greek restaurant coming to Gainesville. Here’s where, when it may open
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John Vachtsevanos, right, and George Giannoulas are opening a new Gainesville restaurant. The Greek Tavern is currently being built at 430 Broad Street in Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers

At the Greek Tavern now under construction, John Vachtsevanos hopes diners will enjoy not only traditional Greek food with a “modern twist” but views of nearby downtown Gainesville.

Patrons may be able to get those views from the planned glass-enclosed balcony on the second floor of the restaurant now being built at 430 Broad St., off Jesse Jewell Parkway near E.E. Butler Parkway.

“We want an outside feel but with the comfort of being inside,” said Vachtsevanos, a Gainesville physician who has teamed up with restaurateur George Giannoulas in the business.

The 6,400-square-foot restaurant also will offer an enclosed patio on the first floor, an open kitchen and brick oven where patrons can see their meals being cooked, and a drive-thru for pick-up orders.

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A rendering of The Greek Tavern coming to 430 Broad Street in Gainesville.

As for particular dishes that will be served, potential customers will have to wait.

“We don't want to reveal too much of the menu until we open, but the idea will be to feel like you’re eating home-cooked Greek food in a restaurant setting,” Vachtsevanos said.

“We’re going to combine the traditional Greek food with a modern twist,” Vachtsevanos said. “Mediterranean food is healthy, with a lot of salad, a lot of vegetables, and a lot of grilled stuff.

“And nothing frozen,” Giannoulas said.

“Yes, everything is going to be made to order,” Vachtsevanos said.

The pair hopes the restaurant will be open by January or February 2023.  Foundation work is underway, and the project also calls for tearing down an existing building on the property and putting in a parking lot.

The idea for the restaurant was born of the two men’s Greek heritage. Vachtsevanos is a Greek-American who spent early years living in Greece, and Giannoulas is a Greece native who recently earned his U.S. citizenship.

“We met in Gainesville, and the connection was my dad and his family were from the same hometown in northwestern Greece,” Vachtsevanos said. “That’s how we became friends.”

Giannoulas, a restaurateur in Greece, said he dreamed of continuing his work in the U.S.

He was part of the team that opened Alpha Gyro Grill off Jesse Jewell Parkway in 2017.

Vachtsevanos said he and Giannoulas also hope the restaurant benefits from its location.

“We wanted to be in the middle of Gainesville and have easy access” for people coming from the Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Brenau University and the area around the downtown square, Vachtsevanos said.

He added that they are also excited to be part of Gainesville’s restaurant scene, which is “definitely on the up and up.”


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A new Greek restaurant is coming to Gainesville on Broad Street. The Greek Tavern will feature second floor deck seating as well as a lower deck seating area. - photo by Scott Rogers
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A rendering of The Greek Tavern coming to 430 Broad Street in Gainesville.
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John Vachtsevanos, left, and George Giannoulas are opening a new Gainesville restaurant. The Greek Tavern is currently being built at 430 Broad Street in Gainesville. - photo by Scott Rogers