Q & A with owner John Tsahiridis
417 Magazine: Why this concept?
John Tsahiridis: I’ve always wanted to open my own restaurant, and over time, I decided I wanted to do something that’s true to my heritage and how I was brought up. I wanted to have something that’s true to what Greece is. I didn’t want to settle for anything less.
417: What inspired the menu?
J.T.: A lot of the stuff is stuff that I grew up eating. It’s a combination of that, my personal opinion of what Greece is and what I think people would actually like around this area. Greek food is pretty diverse. I try to keep my menu small because there are some things I’m going to be doing—featured items and seasonal things—according to traditions in Greece.
417: What misconceptions might diners have about traditional Greek gyros?
J.T.: Most people are used to Chicago gyros, which actually got invented in Chicago in the late ’60s, and it’s the beef [or] lamb, ground, minced stuff. We have fries in [our gyros], and that’s exactly how they do it in Greece. They actually put a little ketchup and mustard in there, too.
417: Tell us about the future plans you have for Greek Belly.
J.T.: Eventually, I’m going to do catering and some wholesale things for people to buy bulk, like the dips. I’m planning to get an online ordering [app] for pickups.
Editor's note: Customers can now place online carryout orders at greekbelly.com.