Dinner in a Greenhouse: Greek-American Restaurant Owner Talks to TNH
December 17, 2020
By Matina Demelis
A view of It’s Greek to Me in Ridgewood, NJ with its greenhouses for outdoor dining. (Photo: Courtesy of Paul Vagianos)
RIDGEWOOD, NJ – The Greek-American owner of the restaurant It’s Greek to Me, 21 E Ridgewood Avenue in Ridgewood, came up with an original way to keep his customers warm.
As winter has arrived and people are now having a hard time with outdoor dining, Paul Vagianos put his idea into action and built eight greenhouses outside his restaurant. The investment cost a lot of money since in addition to security that had to be implemented as well the installation of proper lighting and heating.
Vagianos spoke to The National Herald about this effort, which worked out well for him since his customers visit the Greek eatery every day.
"In the summer, we did very well with the tables outside. Since then I thought that I had to do something because I knew that with the cold no customer would come for outdoor dining. So I thought about building greenhouses. I had to get special permission from the State. It took four months to do it but it was worth it as people feel safe in there, sitting down and enjoying their food. We built them with metal and plastic and each one can accommodate four people. In each unit (6 feet by 6 feet) there is a mechanism for air recycling, there is heating on the roof and special weights on the base to withstand the winds. Each unit cost over $1,000 dollars," Vagianos told TNH.
The greenhouses outside of It’s Greek To Me in Ridgewood, NJ offer some comfort and warmth for outdoor dining. (Photo: Courtesy of Paul Vagianos)
He noted that most stores in the area remain closed. "People have nowhere to go. They are afraid to enter a restaurant where they will have to take off their mask to eat as everyone is breathing the same air.”
The Greek restaurant opened 25 years ago and now has six locations in New Jersey.
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