CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's been a slow, steady climb, but Manoli Stavrulakis is serving Greek food again. In 2005, he and his wife, Aoleen, lost Mykonos Cafe, the Capitol Street restaurant they'd owned for six years, where they served family favorites from their homeland.
Two years later, they opened Cafe Creperi in Kanawha City and served breakfast, dessert and savory crepes, coffee drinks and pastry.
They worked a little of their heritage in light meal crepes, adding kalamata olives, feta cheese and Greek dressing to a salad filling of spring mix, onions and tomatoes filling, but didn't serve meats because of a non-compete clause with their landlord. The Creperi Café shares a building with Penn Station Subs.
Last year, Stavrulakis opened a new Cafe Creperi at the Shops at Trace Fork, off Corridor G in South Charleston. He added light meal crepes filled with chicken, turkey, roast beef or gyro meat to the menu, as well as chicken, gyro and veggie pitas, salads and Mykonos' signature Lemon Rice soup. Breakfast crepes filled with eggs, bacon, ham, cheese or cream cheese with sweet or savory additions such as smoked salmon, fruit or marmalade are still on the menu, as are chocolate and ice cream crepes.
This fall, he plans to open another restaurant at Trace Fork, selling pizzas, and the spaghetti he made at Mykonos. Stavrulakis has signed a lease to convert part of the space currently occupied by Shoe Carnival into a restaurant specializing in spaghetti and pizza. He'll share the space with two other food vendors, possibly a made-to-order burrito franchise and a hamburger restaurant.
In each of his restaurants, Stavrulakis keeps his menu simple, serving a limited number of the dishes he does especially well. He serves his hand-sliced gyros with homemade tzatziki, or creamy cucumber yogurt sauce. He plans to limit the menu of his third restaurant to pizza and spaghetti.
"We don't want a big, confusing menu. We'll have two sizes and two styles of pizza, New York and Greek," he said. "I'll make the bread to serve with Mykonos spaghetti."
Mykonos spaghetti is pasta and shrimp with garlic, crushed tomatoes, onions and feta and mozzarella cheeses. He'll also make rigatoni baked with four cheeses.