By Kady Cramer
Nick The Greek, a California-based restaurant specializing in authentic Greek food, will officially open its doors in the Ward Parkway Pavilion on July 20. The second location for Kansas City and first for Missouri, two California natives have brought genuine street-style gyros to the Midwest.
Owner Arthur Gilbreath and Director of Operations Francisco Vigil met through a mutual friend in San Jose and have since become business partners in their franchising venture. Having already relocated to the Kansas City area for his job with Zoom, Gilbreath learned that his favorite hometown food was ready to franchise.
“Arthur told me the opportunity was knocking on my door, so we decided to move. I brought my family from California without question,” says Vigil.
Having worked in the food industry for over 24 years, Vigil didn’t hesitate when he received the call from Gilbreath to partner in a Nick The Greek franchise. He moved to Kansas City in December of 2021.
“Arthur applied [for the franchise], he qualified, and here we are,” says Vigil.
The pair opened an Olathe location in February of 2022 serving all the traditional Greek food, such as gyros, falafel, pitas and souvlaki – a popular Greek dish with meat and vegetables on a skewer. Fries are served on the side.
The State Line location started training on July 13 and has followed with a soft opening. A July 20 grand opening will feature free lunch for all patrons from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The idea for Nick the Greek was born after one of three close-knit cousins, Nick (‘Baby Nick’), traveled home from a trip to Greece and realized that there was nowhere near home where he could get quality gyros. Nick and his two cousins, coincidentally also named Nick (‘Big Nick’ and ‘Little Nick’), decided to start their own authentic Greek restaurant.
Founded in 2014 in Northern California, it has since expanded throughout the state and into Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Texas, Kansas, and now Missouri.
“Arthur tried their chicken gyro in college and fell in love with it,” says Vigil. “He would have it almost every week. That was his favorite food.”
“It is an amazing dream that Arthur has given us and our families,” says Vigil. “He’s an amazing person and has made our move well worth it.”