Fast-casual chain restaurant Nick the Greek will take over Pietris Greek Bakery and Restaurant’s Belmont Shore location with a grand opening targeted for mid-June.

On Feb. 11, the Pietris Bakery Facebook page announced it would be adding a new concept with “more Greek menu items” to their location and included a rendering of the new Nick the Greek storefront.

The chain has rapidly expanded over the past year with six locations in L.A. County and, in addition to the Long Beach location, another location in Marina del Rey also opening soon.

Nick the Greek franchisees Evgenia and Aristos Mantas have taken over ownership and operation of the Belmont Shore location, which will be their second Nick the Greek. The couple, who live in Orange County, also own and operate a store in Huntington Beach, which is scheduled to open soon. They are looking to open more locations in the greater L.A. area.

Nick the Greek franchisees Evgenia and Aristos Mantas behind the counter at one of their store locations. Courtesy of Chris Parisis.

“All the Pietris staff are staying onboard at the new location, and we will be hiring more staff,” Chris Parisis, who is handling the construction of the new building and is the Mantas’ son-in-law, said.

A redesign of the interior is underway, although the Pietris logo remains on the outside of the building for now.

The 3,500-square-foot location will have a family atmosphere, modern, Greek-inspired decor and an open storefront. With an elevated dining experience, the chain seeks to “disrupt the fast-casual sector” by providing healthy, fresh Greek food at an affordable price, Parisis said.

“People are tired of burgers and chicken,” Parisis said. “Long Beach has Greek and Mediterranean restaurants, but they are not affordable.”

A beef or lamb gyro sandwich is less than $12 ($11.95, to be exact) and the most expensive items, a souvlaki or gyro platter would cost you $16.50.

The location was the logical spot to open the first Long Beach Nick the Greek, especially because the neighborhood was already familiar with Greek cuisine. The Pietris family, who opened the bakery and restaurant in Long Beach eight years ago, decided to move back to Greece, Parisis said.

Long Beach’s location will be unique in that it will have a bar featuring 12 taps. Some Greek beers will be available, as well as wine pairings.

Parisis estimates about three months after opening the restaurant, they will be able to open a coffee shop under a separate name and entity but still owned by the Mantas’ and operated by Pietris staff.

The coffee shop will be a future buildout within the space, and the name is yet to be decided.

And while the beloved Pietris desserts will no longer be available, Nick the Greek will serve traditional Greek baklava and fresh Greek donut holes.

The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with possibly extended hours until 2 a.m., Parisis said.

A grand opening date has not officially been announced, but the family plans to celebrate with a free lunch for the surrounding neighbors.

Nick the Greek will be located at 5000 E 2nd Street. 

Editor’s note: This story was updated to show the Huntington Beach location of Nick the Greek is slated to open soon.