Smashing Plates: New Greek chain from Athenian restaurateur to sprawl across the country this summer

·2-min read
<p>Greek classic: wraps will be a focus of the menu</p> (Steven Joyce)

Greek classic: wraps will be a focus of the menu

(Steven Joyce)

The restaurateur behind Greek gyros chain the Athenian is set to launch a new project this summer, with a plan to launch his first site in June and follow it up shortly after with more than half a dozen others in the following weeks.

Neofytos Christodoulou is set to launch Smashing Plates as a delivery-only platform early next month, operating out of a dark kitchen in Battersea, before opening the first restaurant on June 20. It’s expected that seven more will follow shortly afterwards, with four more in London and three across England. Their locations are presently being kept under wraps.

Christodoulou is promising a “fresh and unorthodox take on Greek and Cypriot street food classics” at the new all-day chain and, like the Athenian, will specialise in gyros – the famous Greek wrap – with all the meat used both butchered and marinated for 24 hours in-house, and only cooked to order. There will also be an array of plant-based dishes, including various Greek-style salads, with a spiced cinnamon pita and handmade baklava among the puddings.

Named for the traditional but now rarely seen practice of literally smashing plates as a sign of celebration, Christodoulou says of the opening: “Smashing Plates is my interpretation of how I’ve always wanted to enjoy Greek street food – but made uncompromisingly with the best quality and freshly prepared ingredients we can lay our hands on. I can’t wait to show everyone how gyros should really taste.

The restaurateur added that one priority of the group would be to ensure the restaurants felt as accessible and hospitable to as many people as possible: “Greek hospitality is based around being welcoming and generous – for me this also means creating a space where Londoners from a diverse range of backgrounds feel comfortable coming together.

“Whilst our atmosphere at the restaurants is relatively light and friendly, we’re equally pretty uncompromising when it comes to our principles about inclusivity, diversity and in particular support for the LGBTQ+ community – which we’re looking forward to doing more specific events and partnerships with throughout 2021.”

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