Washington Square West is in line for not one but two new Greek-theme restaurants, effectively doubling the Center City neighborhood's Hellenic dining destinations (e.g. the BYOBs Kanella at 10th and Spruce and Effie's at 1127 Pine, though I am splitting hairs by excluding the posher Estia across Broad at 1405-07 Locust).
The new projects carry liquor licenses.
1. George Tsiouris, whose extended family has been in the local restaurant business for half a century, will go before the Washington Square West Civic Association tonight with plans for a Greek-Mediterranean concept that he and his sister, Vasiliki, are (for now) calling Opa, at 1311 Sansom St. George Tsiouris says they'll cook traditional family recipes. The contemporary/modern/funky look, he says, will take inspiration from Athens' Gazi neighborhood. Opening is projected for spring. It's in the thick of what is emerging as the city's fastest-growing restaurant district. It's smack between Bar (due to open shortly) and Time; the soon-to-open Zavino is at the corner.
2. Then there's Ulysses Voyage, in the former Deux Cheminees at 1221-23 Locust St., a project I told you about in October. Owner Panayiotis "Peter" Carabatsos' original location is in L.A.'s Farmers Market. Carabatsos, who fell in love with the twin brownstones on a trip here, is saying "first week of February -- at least before Valentine's Day" for the opening. Menu will specialize in reasonably priced Greek meze (tapas), not "small small plates," as he explains it, with a wide menu variety catering even to vegans. (That said, there will be a lamb-shank omelet for brunch.) He's now debating whether to bring his mother and culinary inspiration, Voula, to the States to help chef Steve Brown set up the menu -- or simply to send Brown to her kitchen in Greece. As for decor: He told his designer to create a look that makes you feel you're sitting on a terrace in Santorini.