Almost 18 months of building delays and COVID-19 closing restaurants for weeks didn't keep Stratos Lambos and Angela and Frank Kaltsounis from finally opening Ilios Crafted Greek, transforming a former bicycle store in Charlotte, NC.
They are the team behind Ilios Noche, who runs two upscale Mediterranean food restaurants in the area, now turning to the popular fast casual concept even as more people are doing takeout and shunning sitting indoors during the pandemic.
They'd planned to open in December, 2018 but just when they were ready to open the doors the city was locked down and restaurants were offering only takeout or delivery.
Getting impatient, they told Charlotte Magazine they wouldn't wait any longer. They are a Greek-American family and friends who come from a restaurant dynasty that includes the Landmark Diner and Big View Diner.
They said they'd always planned to focus on the eat-and-run crowd in a neighborhood with a large young population and for now are operating with limited dine-in service but concentrating on take-out.
When they open at normal capacity, the dining room will accommodate about 40, and the patio will seat 15 to 20.