Jan. 8, 2015 By Michael Florio
A Mediterranean restaurant with ties to Manhattan has arrived in Astoria.
STIX Mediterranean Grill, located at 40-17 30th Ave, opened its doors on Friday and residents have been heading over in big numbers to check it out, the owner claims.
“Business has been very good,” said owner Stathis Antonakopoulos. “We are extremely happy with the way that Astoria has accepted us.”
As the name indicates, most of the food is served on a bamboo stick skewer. There are a variety of skewers served as entrees including chicken, steak, pork, lamb, tuna, shrimp and vegetarian.
The restaurant also offers what’s known as the STIX Plus, which includes chopped Greek salad, roast potatoes, tzatziki sauce and whole wheat pita bread.
The restaurant also offers so-called STIX Balls—offering choices such as Mac & Cheese balls, fish balls, meat balls, zucchini balls and quinoa balls.
It also offers items such as salads, Greek fries, spinach rice and corn on the cob.
Antonakopoulos said the restaurant is serving organic fruits and vegetables as well as fresh meat. He said the meat will be hormone and antibiotic free, and free-range chicken.
“You can tell in the taste,” he said. “What I serve to the customers is what I want my family to eat and I will not compromise the food for any reason.”
The restaurant will be able to seat 40 people. Antonakopoulos said he hopes to add outdoor seating in March–on both the 30th Ave and 41st Street sides of his corner location.
The restaurant will be open everyday from 11 am to 11 pm.
Antonakopoulos felt there was a need for his restaurant in the community.
“I don’t think any establishment in Astoria can offer what we can,” he said. “We are proud Greeks and serve Mediterranean with a Greek flair, that is both tasty and healthy.”
He said his restaurant has a great location, since it is on a corner of a main street—allowing him to offer a large amount of outdoor seating. Furthermore, being away from Steinway Street parking is easier for customers.
This is the third STIX location Antonakopoulos has opened. His original location is restaurant is on East 23rd Street. He opened one at Hotel Indigo at 127 West 28th Street in October and hopes to open another at 36 Water Street by the end of this month.
He plans on franchising the business in the future.
All the establishments will have “95 percent” of the same menu, he said.
Antonakopoulos immigrated to the United States from Greece in 1999. He then lived in Astoria for 11 years, before moving to Jersey City in 2010. However, with this restaurant opening he is strongly considering moving back to the neighborhood, he said.
“I consider Astoria my home and I feel like I am coming back home now,” he said.
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.