CHICAGO – Avli on the Park opened in May of this year and is now on DuJour’s list of best new restaurants in Chicago. It is “the fourth restaurant in Greek-American chef Louie Alexakis and sports anchor Lou Canellis’ fast-growing modern Greek hospitality brand offering guests floor-to-ceiling views of Lakeshore East Park alongside modern Mediterranean cuisine,” DuJour reported.
“Sustainably designed by Gold Coast Interiors with the Greek Islands front of mind, the airy 13,000-square-foot venue features olive trees and natural elements of stone, marble, eucalyptus, and natural rope, alongside layered drapery and gold accents,” DuJour reported.
“Chef Nikolaos Kapernaros’ menu of fresh fish and marinated meats alongside refreshing Greek wines will whisk you off to the Aegean,” DuJour reported.
On October 12, model Kendall Jenner, best known as a member of the Kardashian family, presented her 818 Tequila at Avli on the Park. Alexakis told Eater Chicago that “Jenner was gracious to him and restaurant management” and “he came away impressed with both her and the tequila.”
The Greek restaurant “managed to merge both Mexican and Greek cuisines in its food and drink for the event,” Chicago Eater reported, adding that “the headliner was mini-chicken souvlaki marinated in Jenner’s tequila, Greek extra virgin olive oil, herbs, and lemon zest.”
Alexakis told Eater Chicago that “he knows a Greek restaurant may not be ideal for a tequila launch, but they embraced the event.”
“We knew that she was looking for a space that could promote her tequila and also had an outdoor venue and we fit the bill,” Alexakis said, Eater Chicago reported.
“Having the ability to host events like Jenner’s is a bright light through a dark time,” Eater Chicago reported, referring to the ongoing COVID pandemic.
“During COVID, it would have been easier for me to open a gyro truck,” Alexakis told Eater Chicago.
Avli on the Park “will soon start what they call ‘Greek Omakase,’ Eater Chicago reported, adding that “customers pick ‘land’ or ‘sea’ and show up for their reservations to dine on a special coursed-out dinner from Avli chef Nikolaos Kapernaros.” Reservations are available via Tock.
“Creativity is all that we have left,” Alexakis told Eater Chicago.
Later in October, Greek-American Chicago-native, NHL Hall of Fame defenseman and former Detroit Red Wing Chris Chelios is set to “launch his own brand El Bandido Yankee Tequila, a company co-run with ex-NFL player Jim Bob Morris,” Eater Chicago reported, noting that “a tequila is consolation for Chelios who has yet to open a Mexican restaurant he teased in 2018.”