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Acropolis OPA announces expansion plans; Buffalo location ‘up in the air’

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Acropolis OPA owner Paul Tsouflidis is trying to implement a “concept” of Greek culture in Western New York, and the City of Buffalo has restricted him from satisfying his vision.

Tsouflidis announced Wednesday that Acropolis would open a second location in the Western New York suburbs in spring 2013. After the drama that surrounded the owner’s second-floor expansion on Elmwood Avenue, Tsouflidis says the future of the current city location is “up in the air.”

“The [present] music restrictions are killing business at night,” Tsouflidis explained from his restaurant on Wednesday. “I want to have live Greek bands, belly dancers, a bar upstairs—these are crucial to showcasing Greek culture.”

While Tsouflidis hasn’t pinpointed one suburb, he mentioned Amherst, Hamburg and Orchard Park as dense residential areas where he believes his concept could flourish.

Asked to expand on this “concept” of bringing authentic Greek culture to Western New York, Tsouflidis didn’t hesitate: “Music is very important, crucial to how the culture is expressed. When you go to a traditional Greek restaurant, you’re immediately hit with a band on Friday and Saturday night, as well as flaming cheese (saganaki, below) and a belly dancer.”

Tsouflidis’ dream is to closely emulate Taverna OPA, a Greek restaurant with several locations in Florida. Judging by Taverna’s website, the atmosphere is stressed alongside quality food, as the (mildly corny) tagline of “Life is a Celebration!” suggests.

In his second restaurant, the owner explains that the menu would be identical to Acropolis’ current offerings, but a greater emphasis would be placed on takeout. Expect further announcements to come soon—follow Acropolis’ Twitter account (@acropolisOPA) and Facebook page for updates.

Tsouflidis lent a couple other interesting tidbits in our chat:

The Acropolis owner was excited about Panera replacing the Blockbuster on Elmwood near SPoT Coffee, referring to the addition as a “godsend” in that it affirms the Elmwood Village as an attractive commercial district and that the local businesses nearby will thrive instead of struggle. For evidence, Tsouflidis explained how the emergence of Blue Monk—only yards away from his restaurant—lured more customers to his business. Since Panera is expected to draw more suburbanites too, expanding Elmwood’s customer base.

Tsouflidis pointed to a few changes in ingredients, particularly replacing olive oil with soybean oil while also sourcing as much locally as possible. Tarantino Food and Hilltop Hanover Farms are two big suppliers for Acropolis’ produce and meat.

TAGGED: acropolis, greek restaurants buffalo, paul tsouflidis, taverna opa

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