A recent talk with restaurant proprietor Paul Tsouflidis, owner of Acropolis on Elmwood Avenue, proved to be very enlightening. I ran into Tsouflidis at EXPO Market, which is where many of the food related revelations unfolded.
To begin, Tsouflidis is part of a trio that has purchased EXPO Market from Sinatra and Company – Nick Sinatra was one of the founders. Tsouflidis’ partners in the EXPO venture are JJ Alfieri who operates Gypsy Bohemian Grove Bar (GBGB), and Kevin Lin who operates Sun Cuisines Express. Tsouflidis, who owns Newbury Salads (also in EXPO), says that he has found the perfect partnership with Lin and Alfieri. Lin partnered with Tsouflidis to open PK Eats on Hertel, and now Alfieri has come onboard (not as a partner) at that location too, taking over for Vera, which departed from the venture. Alfieri, who is from North Buffalo, will run an Italian bar and eatery at PK Eats called Bar Della Cittá (City Square).
Another EXPO development is that SUN Restaurant and takeout (two spaces) has consolidated into one space, making room for Perks Café to open. Tsouflidis says that he is excited to have a café element at EXPO, and that it was one of the missing links in creating “a premium food hall” in Downtown Buffalo.
Another missing link is pizza, he said. Therefore, EXPO will soon welcome Lou Fasolino from Salumeria Belsito, who will be opening up a pizza place called Fasolino’s Pizza. The addition of the pizza place is another one of those puzzle pieces that Tsouflidis expects will draw more foot traffic to the market hall.
In other recent EXPO Market news, Souvlaki Fast has opened, which brings a greek dining element to the mix. Tsouflidis told me that the restaurant is owned and operated by his friend Rouli Zambiyadis, who once lived in Buffalo for a ten year stint, before moving to Florida and opening his first Souvlaki Fast restaurant. Now Zambiyadis owns four locations in Florida, and has already surpassed all expectations with his initial Buffalo location at EXPO, according to Tsouflidis.
In fact, he’s so happy with the results that he has signed on to another Downtown location at the corner of Chippewa and Delaware (the former Rachel’s and Bruno’s). Tsouflidis attributes Souvlaki Fast’s newfound local success with EXPO, which allowed Zambiyadis to test out the market, before taking the plunge.
Breezy Burrito Co., another EXPO tenant, recently signed up for a stand alone brick and mortar location on Elmwood, after “incubating” at the market for a year.
Tsouflidis said that we can expect to see more great things to come from the EXPO business trio, and counterparts. They are already talking about embarking upon myriad new ventures, and developing new concepts. At this point, they are happily cookin’ right along, and Buffalo is certainly the benefactor of their developing partnership.