July 30, 2014 By Michael Florio
The owner of a Manhattan-based Mediterranean eatery is about to open a restaurant in Astoria where La Bottega was located.
The restaurant will be called STIX Mediterranean Gill and is expected to open at 40-17 30th Avenue by mid September.
“Opening up in Astoria is something I have always wanted to do,” said Stathis Antonakopoulos, who grew up in Greece and lived in Astoria for more than a decade, prior to moving to Jersey City five years ago.
This will be the second STIX establishment, which will be modeled on Antonakopoulos’ existing restaurant on East 23rd Street, which is known for offering simple food on a stick.
The Astoria restaurant will offer the same items such as pork, steak, chicken, tuna and lamb kabobs.
The dishes will incorporate organic fruits and vegetables, olive oil, whole grains and fresh meat. The Steak STIX, for instance, will be served on a stick with organic vegetables and Chimichurri sauce.
The restaurant will also offer STIX Balls, such as Mac & Cheese balls, fish balls, meat balls, zucchini balls and quinoa balls. There will also be a variety of salads on offer.
“It is hard to get this type of food in this community,” Antonakopoulos said, who is often in the neighborhood to visit family and friends. “There is a real need for a Mediterranean restaurant in Astoria,” he said.
Antonakopoulos immigrated to the United States in 1999. During his college days he worked as a waiter at the iconic Uncle George’s, which was located at 33-19 Broadway, while attending Baruch College.
He went on to work at Kellari Taverna, a high-end Greek seafood restaurant located at 44th Street in Manhattan, as the Director of Operations.
Antonakopoulos plans on opening two other STIX locations in coming months—one at 127 West 28th Street at Hotel Indigo and the other at 36 Water Street. He has plans to franchise his business.