FAMOUS SAGANaKI ... and so much more
The Parthenon is both proud of, and grateful for, all the media attention it has received during its decades in business, including features and glowing reviews in key publications from coast to coast. Newspapers, magazines, radio, and television have recommended The Parthenon as "Best Gyros," "Best Saganaki," “Pick of the Week,” and "Best Greek Restaurant." It is unquestionably one of Chicago's most popular restaurants as well as the city's oldest full-service, classic Greek restaurant. Its success story is fascinating.
Proprietor Chris Liakouras is an informal goodwill ambassador for Greek-Americans in Chicago. Sam Sianis, owner of the world-renowned Billy Goat Tavern, says of Chris, "To me, Chris is one of the nicest guys I've ever met. He's always polite and always has a smile. And he's not that way just for me—he's that way for everybody. We're very close friends, and we've shared a lot of nice times over the years. I love Chris very much."
OUR SECRET: A TRADITIONAL GREEK MENU
What founder Chris Liakouras began with his brother Bill, is taken to a new level by Chris' daughter, Yanna, manager and partner, along with co-partner and chef, Sotiris Stasinos. Here are some important dates in The Parthenon's early history:
1958—Chris Liakouras and a friend move to Chicago from Detroit with only $64, but soon got jobs selling Red Book phone directories. From humble beginnings ...
1967—The seeds of "The Parthenon" are planted. A Greektown location becomes available when an existing Greek restaurant is for sale. A couple of bottles of retsina close the deal.
1968—The Parthenon opens its doors at 314 S. Halsted Street with three employees: The restaurant took in $110 on its first day of business, but has grown steadily ever since.
1971—The brothers buy the building next door for their first big expansion, which adds another 190 seats. Things keep getting bigger – and better – for coming decades!
2008—The Parthenon celebrates its 40th anniversary with a grand party and the debut of its first cookbook, which features 50 favorite recipes from the menu. The Parthenon Cookbook: Great Mediterranean Recipes from The Heart of Chicago’s Greektown.
Flaming saganaki was invented at The Parthenon by Chris and Bill Liakouras. (Before saganaki was flambéed here, it was just prepared and served as fried cheese.) Bill moved back to Athens in 1975, and ever since Chris has been operating The Parthenon with other family members. His daughter, Yanna, eventually joined him as a partner in the business.
Partner and chef Sotiris Stasinos is always adding new dishes to the lengthy menu and prepares daily specials. The mezedes (first-course dishes) on the menu are mostly offered in two sizes, a concept well-suited to the Greeks' tradition of filoxenia, or hospitality. Filoxenia is about getting together with friends to talk, eat several mezedes, and drink wine.
314 South Halsted Street - Chicago - 60661 - Copyright 2016 The Parthenon Restaurant