The Montrose location
|Current owner(s)||Dimitri Fetokakis|
|Food type||Greek cuisine|
|Street address||2520 Montrose|
|Other locations||Market Square Park|
Niko Niko's Greek & American Café (more commonly known as Niko Niko's) is a restaurant located in Montrose District, Houston, Texas known for serving Greek cuisine. Chrisanthios Fetokakis opened the restaurant in 1977, and ownership was eventually passed on to his son, Dimitri Fetokakis.
According to Niko Niko's official site, Chrisanthios Fetokakis opened a walk-up window restaurant on May 1, 1977, earning $15 the first day it operated. After an initial struggle to open, Fetokakis received assistance from Pete Pappas of the Pappas Restaurants franchise. Eventually, Fetokakis' son Dimitri became owner of the restaurant. Dimitri considered Pappas a lifelong mentor, and was saddened by his death in 2005.
In 2005, owner Dimitri Fetokakis began landscaping the median across from the restaurant as part of a commitment to Montrose Boulevard Conservancy's "beautification" project. Before the Houston recycling program known as RecycleBank went into effect in 2009, Niko Niko's used polystyrene plates, bowls, and cups to serve food and drinks. Since the program's implementation, Fetokakis made the decision to switch to environmentally friendlier (though also more expensive) "enviroware" plates and degradable plastic bags. Houston residents participating in the incentive program can earn points for recycling and redeem them at the restaurant.
After more than 30 years of doing business from its location in Neartown, Niko Niko's expanded in 2010 by adding a kiosk in Market Square Park in Downtown Houston. The 375-square-foot (34.8 m2) "sidewalk cafe-style operation" focuses on "to-go" foods such as gyro sandwiches, shish kabobs and hummus.
Niko Niko's has also sponsored World Gyro Eating Championships at the annual Festival of Greece. In 2009, the restaurant hosted a viewing party after being featured on the Food Network's television program Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
Houston Press has awarded Niko Niko's with the following recognitions: Best Pork Chops (2001), Best Chicken Soup for the Soul (2003), Best Pork Chop (2005), and Best Family-Owned Restaurant (2008). In a 2010 review, Amber Ambrose of the Houston Press criticized the restaurant's Athenian Mushroom Burger, but conceded that "no rain nor sleet nor snow and now no dry burger could ever keep Niko Niko's off the Houston favorites list".
- "History". Niko Niko's. pp. 1–5. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- Britton, Nicki (December 21, 2005). "Co-founder of Pappas Restaurants dies". Houston Chronicle. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- Friedberg, Jennifer (September 18, 2007). "Plans being made for Montrose Blvd.'s revitalization". Houston Chronicle. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- Casey, Rick (November 14, 2009). "Niko the Greek bets on recycling". Houston Chronicle. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- DeLony, Doug (October 20, 2009). "City to Reward Recyclers with Prizes". KRIV. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- "Niko Niko's spins gyros downtown". Orlando Business Journal. American City Business Journals. April 23, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2010.[dead link]
- Morago, Greg (April 12, 2010). "Montrose icon Niko Niko's to expand to downtown's Market Square". Houston Chronicle. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- Hoffman, Ken (May 20, 2009). "This guy's humble, but boy, can he eat". Houston Chronicle. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- Shilcutt, Katharine (September 30, 2009). "Opa! It's the Niko Niko's Viewing Party". Houston Press. Village Voice Media. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- Dunn, Molly. "Openings & Closings: Niko Niko's Heads to Pearland While Dunkin' Donuts Continues Its Houston Takeover" (Archived 2014-05-18 at WebCite). Houston Press. Friday May 16, 2014. Retrieved on May 18, 2014.
- "Best Pork Chops – 2001". Houston Press. Village Voice Media. 2001. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- "Best Chicken Soup for the Soul – 2003". Houston Press. Village Voice Media. 2003. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- "Best Pork Chop – 2005". Houston Press. Village Voice Media. 2005. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- "Best Family-Owned Restaurant – 2008". Houston Press. Village Voice Media. 2008. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- Ambrose, Amber (April 9, 2010). "What Not to Order at Niko Niko's: Athenian Mushroom Burger". Houston Press. Village Voice Media. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
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