The Athenian to expand into Europe and the UAE

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Greek street food restaurant The Athenian to expand into Europe and the UAE and double of the size of UK estate expansion

Related tags Greek cuisine The Athenian Street food Multi-site Casual dining

Greek street food player The Athenian has announced plans for international expansion, beginning this year, with the group also laying the groundwork to double the size of its UK estate.

Starting with the Spanish market and then continuing with expansion into the UAE, the move will see The Athenian rolling out two new sites in Madrid, followed by four sites in Dubai and Abu Dhabi by the end of 2021.

Then, next year, a further four sites will open in the UAE, and one more in Barcelona.

The menu at the new locations will remain the same and the UAE sites will be completely halal, but still using core Greek ingredients.

Dishes will include The Athenian's 'signature' souvlaki and gyros made with chicken, ground lamb, beef or halloumi, and are served in either a handmade pita or in a box with dips such as tzatziki or 'special Athenian sauce'.

There are also plans afoot on the brand’s home turf too, with a planned UK expansion set to see the group doubling in size within the next year.

Earlier this year, BigHospitality ​revealed that The Athenian's estate was reduced by half following the departure of co-owner Neo Christodoulou​, who left the business to launch a rival Greek brand called Smashing Plates.

Since then Tim Vasilakis, who founded The Athenian in 2014 as a street food stall and remains director of the business, has been working hard to rebuild the group's portfolio​.

By December, The Athenian will have 18 sites including a handful of permanent restaurants in London and delivery kitchens across the UK.

Vasilakis is now aiming to grow the group's domestic estate to 26 sites by the end of 2022, with a series of new bricks and mortar restaurants set to launch in the new year.

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