New fine dining Greek restaurant coming to Chela space

Former Top Chef George Pagonis and his brother Nicholas will open a Greek restaurant focusing on seafood in the former Chela space (and former American Whiskey and former Distilled) on the corner of West Broadway and Franklin. They are shooting for a fall opening; the restaurant has yet to be named.

The space has seats for 94, with another 15 at the bar and outdoor seating on the raised loading platform that is within the property line with about 20 seats. (Chela closed after just six months in the space, but they never renovated, so it is ready for a little freshening up.) The hours will be 11:30a to midnight Monday to Saturday and Sunday to 10p.

Pagonis is currently the executive chef at the Greek fine dining Kyma in Hudson Yards. He was the executive chef and partner at Mike Isabella’s first Greek restaurant, Kapnos, in Washington, DC. Before opening Kapnos, Pagonis served as chef de cuisine at Mike Isabella’s Italian-inspired flagship, Graffiato, also in DC. Prior to joining Graffiato, Pagonis cooked at Aureole in New York under Christophe Bellanca and Marcus Ware. And before that, he was at Jose Andres’ Zaytinya and at Le Cirque. He was a Top Chef finalist in 2014.

He attended the Culinary Institute of America and first started cooking at The Four Seasons, a Greek diner owner by his father in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Pagonis’ brothers’ relationship with chef Mike Isabella and his company, Mike Isabella Concepts, flamed out in 2019 after a sexual harassment lawsuit brought against Isabella by a manager of the company’s food hall in Tysons Galleria named the brothers; Chapter 11 bankruptcy and then Chapter 7 bankruptcy followed. You can read that story in D.C. Eater here or in the Washington Post here.


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  1. Nice addition to the neighborhood! I’m excited for this one

  2. Isn’t the old Terra space across the street becoming a Greek wine bar?

  3. I hope it lasts (and I hope the landlord reduced the rent) it’s a very large space.

    Anyway, you can never have too many Greek spots!

  4. Excellent addition to our lovely Restaurant Row! Please pretty please let it be more like Kokkari in San Francisco (kind of a high-end Greek Balthazar) rather than a Milos redux. 100% certain that would be a smash hit, compared to another cavernous fine-dining spot.

  5. When we first moved into the hood in 1979, one of the few restaurant choices was 211. Located at 211 West Broadway, It was a pleasant space with good mid-eastern food. I miss it still.