Sneak Peek 2: Paros Tribeca

The brothers Pagonis — George and Nick — were gracious enough to let me see inside their new Greek restaurant on West Broadway and Franklin, Paros Tribeca, which opens Thursday. The two have been working from morning to midnight for the past two weeks to get everything ready — the line cooks are there now, testing all the recipes. “The hardest part is the transition, after the contractor hands you the keys,” Nick said. “Then you realize what you forgot,” George added. “I called my wife this morning and sent her to the Bowery, which is why it’s great that we are downtown and so close.”

The space — which I can trace back to 2009 and the wine shop Maslow 6, which closed in 2015 and became Distilled, then American Whiskey, then Chela (wasn’t it a Mexican place before 2009?) — finally got the reno it deserved (their brother-in-law, Ben Webne, was the architect), with its huge ceilings, original columns and A+ Tribeca views across Finn Square and the plaza at the Franklin Street station. Natural wood tables, bamboo on the ceiling, arched windows at the bar. They also cleaned up the jerry-rigged wiring and gutted the bathrooms.

The brothers grew up at their father’s diner in Maryland and that experience never left their system. “Nick worked in the front and my dad put me in the back, and since I had to wait for him to take me home, I helped the chef out a lot,” George said. Their father insisted they go to college but they found their way back to the business.

“He tried to push us away,” George said. “We put on suits and went on a ton of interviews and finally I said, ‘Dad this is not for me.’ So my dad said, ‘one guy in front one guy in back’ and that’s what we did.”

George went to the CIA in Poughkeepsie. “It opened my eyes to a whole new world I never knew about — the Daniels and the Le Bernadins and that level of fine dining.” He went on to work at Le Cirque, Aureole, Charlie Palmer — he opened Anassa in Astoria, the sister restaurant to ours in Battery Park City and was a Top Chef finalist in 2014. Nick went on to be the general manager of high-end restaurants, they worked together in DC for years, and eventually he was brought in to find dining concepts to airports for HMS Host. Their careers converged again at Kyma in Hudson Yards.

“We were together for the first time in a few years and we had the itch,” Nick said. “We had to do it again.”

They looked at 50 places over seven months, even a spot on Greenwich, but it was the ceilings and the loading dock here that sold them. (“The kitchen is tiny but you can’t have it all.” George said.)

When they open Thursday, expect traditional Greek spreads and salads, crudo (“You could call it sashimi but we are closer to Italy than Japan”), grilled octopus, roasted whole fish, lamb chops and braised lamb shanks — a specialty. The beverage director, Will Fell, was working on the bar and accepting UPS deliveries on Tuesday.

“We are still trying to find all the switches,” said George. “But it’s looking great.”



  1. Back in the 90’s the space was Layla’s, one of Drew Nieporent’s places. Middle Eastern food, belly dancers. One of our all time favorite places. Another place lost to the impact of 9/11.

  2. Before any of those, it was a restaurant called Two Eleven, probably in the mid to late 1980’s.

  3. So excited for this! This chef is excellent. What a beautiful addition to the neighborhood.

  4. Layla’s! Thanks for reminding me of name of that fantastic spot. Have been trying to remember the name for years. That place was FUN.

  5. Stafili just opened up across the street in the old Terra space. This is also a Greek restaurant, though more of a wine bar. It will be interesting to see if 2 Greek spots can compete right next to each other.

  6. I believe the Mexican spot was Centrico.

  7. What was the place with the Mexican place with the mosaic tiled wall out front in the late 90’s? I want to say Teddy’s?!

    • Ok, I think it was El Teddy’s. Anyway. We are trying Paros out tonight — can’t wait! Welcome to the neighborhood, Paros!

    • Yes, but that was a few storefronts north and the building now has Tribeca Paint in the storefront. There is still some mosaic tile on the fire hydrant in front of it.