Nov. 2, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
A local restaurateur plans to breathe new life in to a venerable Broadway eatery.
Ioannis Arvanitis, the owner of Omonia Café, plans to reopen the former Uncle George’s restaurant at 33-19 Broadway as a new Greek eatery called Amylos, hoping to revive the spirit that he says Broadway has lost.
“Broadway used to be the number one avenue in Astoria,” Arvanitis said, explaining that there used to be several Greek restaurants nearby, including Uncle George’s, which closed in 2013.
“Now I’m here by myself, and I don’t feel good,” he said. “I want to make new life on Broadway.”
Arvanitis said that the new restaurant would be a slightly more upscale version of the former Uncle George’s, but similar in its focus on Greek and Mediterranean food.
He hired a chef from Greece and plans to serve classic Greek dishes including lamb and shish kabobs in an environment that welcomes the community.
He explained that he opened Omonia in 1977, and his 40 years of experience on Broadway has given him insight as to how his restaurant could be successful.
“I know what customers want,” Arvanitis said. “Good food and good prices.”
Arvanitis acquired the property in 2012 for $1.5 million, according to property records, and since then has completely renovated the building, adding a fourth floor and constructing five apartments.
Construction is still underway at the new building, but Arvanitis said he expects to open the restaurant no later than March.
He added that he does not expect a conflict between his new establishment and Omonia Café, despite the fact that they are about a block away from one another, given that Omonia is primarily a bakery and Amylos will be a restaurant.