CHICAGO – Avli on the Park, a modern Greek restaurant located in Chicago’s downtown Lakeshore East neighborhood, has been included in this year’s Chicago Michelin Guide, alongside six other new Chicago restaurants. The latest addition to this prestigious list, Avli on the Park follows in the footsteps of the popular Logan Circle-based Andros Taverna. The Michelin Stars, highly coveted in the culinary world, will be awarded later this spring, and the Michelin Guide will provide the public with a glimpse of which restaurants are deserving of Michelin Star certification.
Avli on the Park prides itself on blending tradition with contemporary elegance and offering guests an authentic Greek experience. With classic and contemporary Greek dishes, a lively beverage program, and an ambiance that reflects life in Greece, Avli on the Park promises to provide guests with a memorable culinary experience.
Louie Alexakis, the managing partner of Avli, grew up in the hospitality industry, working for his parents who owned a chain of hot dog stands in the Chicago Park District for over 50 years. After years of success with Avli Winnetka, Alexakis teamed up with partner and Chicago sportscaster Lou Canellis to open Avli Taverna in 2018. Avli on the Park is the latest of the three concepts the group has brought to Chicago.
According to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, Greek immigrants began arriving in Chicago in the 1840s, primarily consisting of seamen who found themselves involved in commerce on the Great Lakes. Following the devastating Great Fire of 1871, the Greek community began to grow in Chicago, with immigrants settling in the city in increasing numbers. As a result, Chicago became a significant destination for Greek immigrants in the United States, becoming the nation’s largest Greek settlement until World War II, where it was surpassed by New York City.
Greek immigrants quickly turned their attention to mercantile activities, such as becoming prominent restaurant owners, ice cream manufacturers, florists, and fruit/vegetable merchants in Chicago by the late 1920s. Their entrepreneurial spirit, combined with their hard work ethic, helped them succeed in these various business ventures.
The Greek community’s triumph in Chicago can be attributed to their high literacy rates and college attendance, enabling them to pursue professions in medicine, law, education, politics, and business. Currently, the metropolitan region houses over 93,000 people of Greek ancestry, with their prosperity being demonstrated in suburbs like Arlington Heights, Berwyn, Des Plaines, Glenview, Morton Grove, Prospect Heights, Oak Lawn, Palos Hills, Park Ridge, and Skokie.
As the latest Greek restaurant to be featured in the Chicago Michelin Guide, Avli on the Park represents the continuing success and growth of the Greek community in Chicago. The coveted Michelin Stars will be awarded later this spring, with the Michelin Guide offering the public a sneak peek into which restaurants are deserving to be considered with Michelin Star certification.