He recently traveled to Texas to purchase a three-layer, rotating brick oven.
On the weekends at the Trace Fork Cafe Creperi, he makes special dishes customers remember and request from Mykonos. A rotating menu features roasted lamb, moussaka (a layered dish of eggplant, potatoes, ground meat filling and smothered in a creamy béchamel sauce,) pastichio (another layered dish of pasta, ground meat and béchamel sauce,) lemon-oregano chicken and Greek beef stew. He serves all the dishes with rice and green beans in tomato sauce.
He plans to add Greek wines to the menu.
During the week, he offers a vegetarian soup du jour such as split pea, cream of mushroom, lentils and white bean in addition to the Lemon Rice soup, which has chicken in it. Stavrulakis makes all his soups from scratch.
When the third restaurant opens, he and his wife will be even busier than they are now with the two restaurants that are open seven days a week. She runs the Kanawha City Creperi, and he operates the Trace Fork location. He'll spend most of his time at the new restaurant, leaving the management of the second Creperi to a well-trained staff. The two restaurants will be in adjoining shopping centers, so he can keep a close eye on both.
Stavrulakis said they've learned from the mistakes that cost them Mykonos, the first restaurant they owned after coming to America. Mykonos closed in 2005 as a result of a dispute with the landlord.
"That was not a fun time for us. We lost everything, and had to start from zero," he said. "It was hard, but people really encouraged us to keep going, and here we are."
Cafe Creperi, 55 RHL Blvd, is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Call 304-746-4040 or visit www.cafecreperi.com. Or the original Cafe Creperi, 4002 MacCorkle Ave., S.E. 304-925-4040. Open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Reach Julie Robinson at jul...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.