SAN FRANCISCO – The successful Greek restaurant chain Souvla is getting ready to take to the streets, becoming purveyors of frozen yogurt from Greece.
The chain’s managers have turned a 1971 Chevy P10 van into a mobile ice cream parlor, which they are advertising as the first ‘καντίνα’ to serve frozen yogurt in the United States.
The debut of this special ‘ice cream parlor’ took place last weekend at the San Francisco Eat Drink SF, the city’s largest annual food festival.
And while the new Souvla mobile venue will occasionally roam the city, stopping at festivals and events such as Eat Drink SF, the main idea of those in charge is to rent it out. The van will be available for rent for private events, with the aim of offering unlimited frozen yogurt for $1500 for the first hour and $1000 for every extra hour.
Greek yogurt lovers are going to be thrilled with the new idea, especially after the great success of the chain’s introduction of the iconic Anthora paper cups (a play on the word ‘amphora’) renowned for their ubiquitous presence in New York’s Greek restaurants. The frozen yogurt will be served in Anthora cups.
The Greek-American CEO and founder of Souvla Restaurants, Charles Bililies, describes his new venture as “a reference to the legendary ‘Mister Softee’ but with a Greek touch.” The Greek flag inspired him to paint the vehicles blue and white, commissioning their creation to Brian Milosalijevic, founder of a Los Angeles-based marketing company that built, among other things, the popular Milk Bar Christina Tosi canteens.
It will be recalled that in 2017 Michelle Obama had written a letter praising the Greek-American’s restaurant. “Your food ‘made my 5-hour flight’,” she wrote, among other things.
In an earlier interview with The National Herald Billilis said he was raised in Boston and that his father, Andrew, is one of the newspaper’s most dedicated readers.
“My mother Maria, whose maiden name is Leotsakou and came to the US in the 1970s from Halandri, has roots in Paros and Athens. I also have grandparents from Mani, so I’m not exactly first generation, but not exactly of the second generation of Greek-Americans either,” Billilis said.
Of the Souvla restaurants, he said, “I wanted to do something that is a bit more modern and accessible, but also inspired by traditions, Greek raw materials, and recipes.”