ASTORIA – With the customers’ best wishes for success similar to the other two stores, the newest Gyro World had its grand opening in Astoria at the 30th Avenue and 36th Street. Owner, Dimitris Petridis, has been studying the market for a long time and has decided to expand the well-known chain to the “heart” of New York Hellenism, Astoria.
“It was something the people wanted. I think it will go well, we believe in the Greek community and we believe in our good food, too. To open a third store shows that the people support us, we thank them, we respect them, and we do so with appreciation. We respect the customer,” Mr. Petridis told The National Herald.
Video: TNH/Costas Bej
Gyro World is considered one of the most successful restaurants in New York. Nevertheless, it followed a “reverse” path in relation to other similar expatriate businesses.
It did not begin in Astoria to initially serve mainly Greek clients, but began in Flushing, 13 years ago. Later, it was extended to Ridgewood and only recently to Astoria. The owner himself believes his case has been different.
“We offer something different, the quality itself is different, it is not the ‘dirty’ we say in Greece. In Flushing, e.g. we do not have only Greek customers but mainly foreigners, and this opens up prospects for something bigger. The same we see today, since Astoria is now like a mini Manhattan, where, besides the permanent residents, there are many who pass through as visitors.”
At the same time, Petridis noted that the Greek gyro and the souvlaki not only do not lose their momentum due to the conscious shift of the average American to the so-called “healthy diet,” but on the contrary, they strengthen their position, since “they have nothing to do with fast food and plastic food.”
Opening for charity
The climate at the event was absolutely festive, with hundreds of young and old customers, who shared their best wish for success, accompanied by delicious mezedes, appetizers. The grand opening was also a benefit with the proceeds earmarked to support the Ronald McDonald House in New York, Greek Division which provides accommodation for children with cancer and their families from Greece and Cyprus, who are in New York for treatment.
“The move is symbolic, to remind us that with any event, the money spent, which is a lot, can be made available for a more substantial and important purpose, such as improving the lives of young children fighting cancer,” concluded Petridis.
Rev. Fr. Paul Palesty from St. Nicholas Church in Flushing and V. Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Papazafiropoulos from St. Demetrios Cathedral in Astoria blessed the new store. New York State Senator Michael Gianaris was also present along with family members and friends.