Dishes

Authentic Gyros are Coming to 417-land

Highly-anticipated authentic restaurant Greek Belly will open in downtown Springfield, Missouri in May 2018, serving gyros, baklava, souvlaki and more.

By Shannon Hoffmann

May 01 2018 at 10 a.m.

Photo by Shannon HoffmannJohn Tsahiridis sets up shop at Farmers Market of the Ozarks on Saturdays, serving up authentic Greek food in advance of his brick and mortar location opening.

John Tsahiridis is finally ready to fulfill 417-land’s desire for authentic Greek food. After spending 13 years in a variety of roles at Galloway Station, Tsahiridis made the switch to restaurateur. He plans to open Greek Belly in downtown Springfield right next to Jimmy John’s.

“I’ve always wanted to open my own place,” Tsahiridis says. “My parents are Greek and I was brought up in Greece so I’m very passionate about it.” 

You may be familiar with what’s to come if you’ve attended Cider Days, Artsfest or, more recently, Farmers Market of the Ozarks. Tsahiridis has been serving up juicy previews for us with booths at these events and it appears that this tactic has been successful. “The souvlaki just blew up,” Tsahiridis says. “Every time I do these festivals I always sell out. The dolmades are very popular and sell out just as fast.” 

Greek Belly focuses on traditional fare including baklava, souvlaki and gyros carved off the spit. 

“Most of my recipes are handed down from my mom and family, and a lot of research I’ve done myself,” Tsahiridis says. “Everything I make will be marinated overnight and then put on the spit.”

Greek Belly originally planned to open its doors end of July 2017, but Tsahiridis ran into some problems. 

“We came across a myriad of smaller issues,” Tsahiridis says. “But the biggest issue was that there wasn’t enough electric power for my needs, because the electric is shared in that part of the old building, which lead to a back-and-forth game with city building services and City Utilities on what was allowed to be done. That took a good five to six extra months, plus re-writes from the architect and electrical engineers. Actual construction didn’t start 'til late February 2018.”

Things seem to be running smooth now, and Tsahiridis is confident in his May 2018 opening.

“I do appreciate everyone’s continued patience,” Tsahiridis says. “I hope and strive to meet and exceed all expectations!”

Take a peek at the authentic Greek food you can finally fill your belly with come May 2018.

Saragli, a rolled variation of baklava

Buttery baked filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and honey-cinnamon-citrus syrup. Photo courtesy Greek Belly.

Gigandes

A popular oven-baked dish that’s perfect for the cooler months, gigandes are made with dried giant white Greek beans, tomatoes, garlic, onion, olive oil, parsley, carrots and celery. Photo courtesy Greek Belly.

Tiropita

Also known as Greek cheese pie, this savory baked pastry is stuffed with with cheese, eggs and milk. Photo courtesy Greek Belly.

Dolmades, A.K.A. dolmas

A popular Mediterranean appetizer, dolmades are super simple but super flavorful. Look forward to herb-packed rice rolled up in tender grape leaves. Photo courtesy Greek Belly.

Until its opening, Greek Belly offers a taste of the Greek goods to come at Farmers Market of the Ozarks. Check out the times and details here, and keep an eye on its Facebook page for an official opening date.

Greek Belly

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320 E. Walnut St., Springfield
417-597-3382

Hours
Monday–Thursday 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
Friday–Saturday 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
Closed Sunday