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Elia Athenian Grill is Opening Soon Downtown

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega Elia Athenian Grill is Opening Soon DowntownPhoto by Walker Evans.
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Ilias Zervas is tired of the fake gyros circulating around the city. Beef. Lamb. Those are the protein options you typically order from.

“Which is a big lie,” Zervas said. “These are authentic gyros, not the gyros you’re used to in the U.S.”

Over here, people are accustomed to a bastardized version of the gyro, which contains a processed meat blend with bread crumbs and assorted spices for flavor. He said at Elia Athenian Grill, they’ll offer chicken and pork, “no process, no hormones, no MSG, no GMOs.”

The grill, replacing Burger Shack at 20 N. High St. this month, is named for the Greek word for “olive tree.” In Greece Zervas owned six Goody’s Burger House franchises, but Elia is his first Columbus venture. His goal here is to contribute to the area’s growing business landscape.

elia-logo“We’d like to bring more people Downtown, because it looks like that’s what everyone’s trying to do here, to repopulate the Downtown,” Zervas said.

The trend is pretty much citywide, but out of the more than 50 restaurants that opened in Columbus last year, about a fifth of them were in the Downtown area. More are slated to open early this year as well, including an Irish pub concept and Buckeye Bourbon House on Gay Street.

Elia will debut at the end of January, offering a fast-casual service style. Zervas said they’re in the middle of remodeling at the moment. When it’s complete, the 1,700 square foot space will fit 45 people inside and 20 people on the patio when the weather warms up.

Along with their authentic gyros, souvlakia, or Greek meat and vegetable skewers, will be offered. They’ll come in chicken, pork, vegetarian and bifteki (broiled meatball) varieties.

When it opens, Elia will focus primarily on serving lunch, opening from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Zervas plans on eventually adding breakfast and dinner, adjusting the hours to open at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

For more information, visit www.eliaatheniangrill.com/our-story.

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