The Greek and Greca are for sale

Tom Galis has some exciting plans afoot, but the news may come as a blow to local fans of The Greek: he is selling both that restaurant and his other outpost, Greca, around the block on Washington.

Galis’ plan – one he’s been incubating for a little while – is to move back to Greece and to the property he owns in the northern part of the country and open an inn and restaurant that focuses on agro-tourism – a place where people can detox their bodies and their minds, unplug and unwind while eating food straight from the land, farm to table. He’s already got the name: Nestos Organic Living, since it’s on the shore of the Nestos River, which runs down from the Balkans. It just sounds like home is calling, and maybe has been for a while: “I always wanted to go back to my country and help revitalize my village.”

But back to Tribeca. After a career in fast casual, Galis opened The Greek (Greenwich and Watts/Desbrosses) in 2013 as a way to recreate and serve the comfort food of his childhood in Greece (and later in Astoria). He wanted it to be a neighborhood place, and it has been, picking up a broader following along the way. Greca – which he designed himself – was his answer to questions like, “where can I get this cheese?” or “where do you get your olive oil?” and that (beautiful) shop and cafe was opened just last year.

But at 52, and with a couple decades-plus in the industry, he feels he has reached the end of his restaurant operations career.

“For me it’s a hands-on business,” said Galis, who puts in 85 hours a week. “I am the executive chef and manager and I like greeting my customers every night. It’s all or nothing.”

The silver lining here is that Galis is not in a hurry. He wants to find the right buyer for both places. (Greca is listed for $1.5 million here, and thanks to James for sending that tip.) “I want to make sure they understand the unique dynamic between my businesses and the neighborhood. We don’t need another corporate chain to take over. I’d rather give it to an independent operator. Like me.”



  1. It makes me very sad to lose Tom. He has been a great neighbor and nourisher of palette and soul. He’s made The Greek (in this Greek’s humble opinion), the best Greek restaurant in NYC. Hopefully, we can get to both restaurants many times before they change hands.

    But I can fully appreciate that the heartstrings pull hard from the motherland. Best of everything to you, Tom.

  2. Couldn’t agree more with Bill. Greca has been such a great addition to the neighborhood. Tom – and everyone at both locations – are just the best.