Greek Cuisine Returns to Berryville

A splash of blue paint hints at the Mediterranean heritage. Photo credit Mike Dowling

The new year brings good news for Clarke County residents looking to enjoy Mediterranean treats like souvlaki and moussaka. Since the demise of the Knossos restaurant this past summer, fans of Greek cuisine have had limited options in town. However, early in 2012 Greek cuisine will return to Berryville as the Santorini Grill makes plans to open. The new restaurant will be located in the old Tastee Freez building on South Buckmarsh and promises to deliver a superior fast food experience. Owners Constantine Tsatsos and Tom Diamantis have been hard at work renovating and cleaning the space and hope to open by the end of January.

Tom Diamantis has over 58 years in the food service industry but this will be the first restaurant he has a stake in.¬† Constantine Tsatsos spoke of his business partner’s experience saying, “He began his career at the age of 12 in Athens. Since then he has helped open and manage dozens of Greek restaurants across Northern Virginia. Now for the first time, he has a 50% stake in this restaurant as an owner.”

Indeed¬† Diamantis has had a colorful career, working as an Army cook, then for the Merchant Marines before settling into the commercial restaurant business opening and acting as general manager for many restaurants in the area that still flourish. In fact, Diamantis helped open and operate three Knossos Restaurants in Vienna, Leesburg, and Manassas, that consistently won customer’s approval and were recognized as some of the cleanest establishments in their communities.

“We insist on operating a very clean restaurant,” said Constantine. This has proven to be their biggest barrier to opening in their new location. The building they are leasing was suffering from some cleanliness issues left over from the previous business. The two owners have spent hundreds of hours scrubbing and de-greasing kitchen equipment. In addition, there were repairs that needed to be made to the aging structure. “The roof was leaking and needed to be repaired and that caused ceiling damage, so the ceiling needed to be replaced. There is a lot of work to do.”

Their work is nothing short of amazing. The “new fryer” wrapped in plastic is not new at all. Tom and his wife spent 6 days cleaning and refurbishing the old fryer to the point that it looks brand new. The two owners have been working their way through the space and the equipment, cleaning and refurbishing to make sure everything meets their standards before they open.

Constantine said, “We are shooting for the end of January, but it’s a lot of work to bring this place up to our standards.”

The new restaurant will feature a hand picked menu by Tom and will include traditional Greek fare. They also plan to employ 5-6 part-time employees in the community.

 

Comments

  1. Welcome wagon says:

    OPA! Welcome and Good luck!

    I’m looking forward to a clean Greek restaurant. Best wishes for a successful business!

  2. Bville Resident says:

    Hooray!!!

  3. Stonebroke says:

    Didn’t Berryville attempt to serve Greek once before. Fail!

    • What’s with the negativity?

      The type of food was not the problem with the previous establishment. It was the service and the conditions. I think people love the Greek food, you just have to do it right and it sounds like these two entrepreneurs are well on their way with their extensive efforts to clean that place up.

      Welcome to Berryville Constantine and Tom, I’ll be there when you open.

  4. poverello says:

    My wife and I ate often at the Knossos in Leesburg. Excellent. Now, Mssrs. Diamantis and Tsatsos are opening a Greek restaurant in Berryville? I’m there!

  5. Stonebroke says:

    Not being negative, Just stating the facts! I just don’t see the need for another sit down type restaraunt in Berryville! Whether you eat it or not–a fast food joint–with a drive thru is what is needed! Just don’t get it!

    • Clarke Life says:

      Could you imagine all the revenue that a Chick-Fila would generate up by the Food Lion. People stopping in the mornings for breakfast and in the evenings for dinner. Not mention the lunch crowd would be amazing… That would be a Win/Win if you ask me. And please don’t start with the those buildings are an eyesore because I haven’t seen a Chick-Fila yet, that wasn’t clean and tidy!

    • Mr Mister says:

      We all get it Fly. If it doesn’t have golden arches, you are not happy. Good thing you don’t speak for all of us in Berryville.

      • Good Try Mr. Mister. I frequent the arches on a few occasions….just check out the physique. Let me guess you don’t eat that kind of trash? Give me a break! I usually just speak for myself….but if you have a question…just ask…I’ll tell you what I’m feeling. You could have just sparked a thought upstairs…….the mayor is running unopposed! I can almost see it now……

        If you don’t think the Mayor has a clue……then let Fly speak for you! FLY for MAYOR!!!!!!!!

  6. sargewillis says:

    Stonebroke is right about one thing, a real fast food place would be nice, a Wendys or Chick fa La would be good. But I will definitly be there for the new Greek restaurant too.

    • Wishing the new owners the greatest success (especially if they keep the Egg Nest on the menu). For those who can’t wait another three weeks, there is a pretty good sitdown Greek restaurant in the shopping center across from Chick-fil-a, a fine Irish pub recently opened downtown (try the Fish and Chips), and a new and excellent Bagel Bakery in the Wal-Mart shopping center.

      Sorry for going Yelp on you — I got carried away.

    • Chick Fila….Berryville couldn’t handle a Chick Fila….hell I can’t get in to the Mickey D’s at Waterloo on Sunday mornings! I know you wouldn’t be able to get in a Chic Fila! The people of Berryville always say how much we don’t need something…..until it gets here…..then they are the 1st people in line….Let it come…you might like it.

  7. past employee of old knossos says:

    Give Tom a chance. He, like so many of us who had anything to do with the previous owners of the Greek food establishment, have been taken advantage of. Wages not paid and used beyond reasonable capacity as an employee. Tom is an excellent chef and a kind gentleman. His roasted leg of lamb is the best dish I have ever tasted. I would work for Tom again, as would several other good employees who were abused by the last owners. Wouldn’t you like to eat where you knew that the people who worked there were happy? That is what Tom will bring back to Berryville.

  8. I think it is great that a Greek restaurant is opening soon in Berryville. More choice for Berryville gets the thumbs up from me.

  9. Mary L. C. Daniel says:

    This is great news! Since the day I moved here, I’ve been impressed with the variety of restaurants in Berryville. The Greek niche is aching to be filled. I can’t wait!

  10. Sharon Strickland says:

    Takanas (?) — I forget my Greek spelling but am thinking Hello! MyGreek/American cousins owned two Greek restaurants in Washington, DC for many, many years before retiring and moving back to the isle of Crete and opening a taverna. I wish the new owners a wonderful opening and continuing business in Berryville. They will have fans galore if all is done well. Will they serve breakfast items too?

    Good luck and adio!

  11. Anxiously awaiting some delicious Greek food….let us know when you’re open!

  12. Watching.... says:

    I’ve been watching the place over the last month. There was a lot of activity until about mid-January but lately I haven’t seen much happening. The dining room is not yet set up either. it looks like the work is stalled.