jump to navigation

Greek goodness flourishing after 35 years of business May 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
comments closed

Lee and Mary Paulos opened the first fast-food Greek restaurant in Salt Lake City in 1972. Thirty-five years later, the original Greek Souvlaki is still doing brisk business and two other locations are up and running.

The Pauloses have since retired, and the family business is now in the hands of their sons, Frank, Leo and Chris. Each location is managed by one of the sons, and yet the three collaborate to maintain the reputation for good food and friendly service that their parents worked to establish.

Chris Paulos oversees the Murray location, which opened in January 2006. He has fond memories of working with his parents and brothers at the downtown location while he was growing up. He contemplated his life’s work after earning a degree in economics from the University of Utah. Chris realized that the restaurant business was in his blood and he wanted the opportunity to work with his brothers.

“It’s something that brings the family together,” Chris says. “My dad still comes in to help out, and he and my mom like to join their friends here for a bite to eat.” Owning a business, Chris explains, requires a lot of work and long hours. His brother, Frank, who manages the West Valley City restaurant, concurs. “I read somewhere recently that restaurant owners have a very high rate of heart attack and divorce, so we have to be careful to try to balance things out,” he says.

Chris says Greek Souvlaki’s customers run the gamut, everyone from regulars who have been dropping in at the original location for years to first-timers. Regardless of how many times they have eaten at Greek Souvlaki, Chris adds, everyone who pops in seems to enjoy the food.

Many of Mary Paulos’ original recipes are still used for the homemade food at the Greek Souvlaki. Although it is time-consuming to make many of the items on the menu, the cooks at the various locations are committed to offering high-quality food. Greek Souvlaki has consistently garnered accolades and awards for serving the best Greek food in the Salt Lake City area. The “yeeros”, gyros, at the restaurants are especially popular. Try one of those, the Paulos brothers attest, and you will jump up and holler “Opa!” Loosely translated, Frank explains, the word “opa” means yee-haw.”

Other traditional menu favorites include souvlaki, dolmathes (meat-stuffed grape leaves), spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese pie), rice pilaf and Greek salad. “We like to stay mostly with authentic Greek food, but we serve a great burger and fries, too,” Chris says. More recent menu additions include lemon chicken and lentil bean soups. “Our new low-carb special, which is a Greek salad topped with a souvlaki, is very popular,” Chris says. But don’t forget the baklava and rice pudding.

The Paulos brothers credit their parents for teaching them old-school values and say they are proud to carry on the family business. “We want to do the best we can do at each of our locations.” Frank says.

Greek Souvlakidowntown eatery, 404 E. 300 South, 801-322-2062.

Cyprus marinas projects are on track May 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus, Tourism.
comments closed

The Cyprus Government says that the marinas projects are on track.

The plans in the pipeline are these: the expansion and upgrading of the Larnaca marina, with space for 1000 berths; Limassol marina with a capacity for 1,000 berths; Paphos 1,000 berths; Ayia Napa 650 berths; and Paralimni 250-300.

From these, the Limassol marina appears the most impressive. Located between the old harbour and the ceramics factory, it will be supported by an entire commercial centre to be built at the site, featuring shopping malls, cafeterias, restaurants, gyms, spas, ballroom dancing halls, hairdressers, indoor sports arenas, and a conference centre. The end result, it is envisioned, will be a mini-town within Limassol.

The Limassol project also seems to be the closest to fruition. According to Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism Antonis Michaelides, signatures should be put on paper “very soon”. Michaelides said the drafting of the contract with the successful tenderer was “a mere formality”, and that under the terms the project must be completed within three years of signing the agreement. “It will be like nothing else the Middle East area has ever seen,” Michaelides added.

Cyprus is on the verge of finally getting on the map of nautical tourism.

Larnaca beach rediscovered May 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Cyprus, Cyprus Larnaca.
comments closed

Depending on the period, various locations in Cyprus have proved to be very popular in real estate investment terms. This is especially true for holiday homes, both for the local as well as the foreign market.

From 1975 and through the 80s, the most popular location was Limassol with the town’s seafront being the number one spot, the Pieris Era. This was followed by Ayia Napa, in the 1980-1990s, and then by Paralimni and Protaras, in 1985-1995 as well as Paphos from the mid 1990s until today. Ayia Napa in particular now has a limited demand and the demand that there is for the eastern area of the island is directed towards Protaras and, to a lesser extent, towards the Sotira sea front, Ayia Thekla area.

Paphos, of course, remains the most popular holiday home/retirement home destination but one that has reached such high prices over recent years, especially the last two, that interest in it could well be lost. Non-seaside apartments, of 2 bedrooms, now reach approximately £110,000, whereas for a small villa on a hill with sea views can reach a price of £250,000, for a two-bed bungalow with a pool and garden. Rising land prices have a lot to do with this, as well as the lack of labour causing rising building costs, and, of course, the keen foreign demand, local demand is practically nil, which has created something like a boom. This is evidenced by the hundreds of estate agents that are active in this region.

A locality worth keeping our sights on is the Larnaca region, especially the locality west of the airport. This area is more popular with locals, those from Nicosia especially, rather than foreigners and there are many projects in this area with over 500 completed housing units mostly sold out, whereas new projects are under construction. This, not so known locality, Kiti-Pervolia, has many an attraction, which must be noted:

* It is close to the Larnaca town centre (5km) and the airport (4kms).
* It has a direct motorway link with Nicosia (30 minutes), Ayia Napa-Protaras (30 minutes), Limassol (45 minutes) and beyond.
* It has the longest sandy beach in Cyprus (5km).
* It has no discos, restaurants in the immediate neighbourhood. This is purely a residential and family area.
* It is a family based holiday resort, dominated by locals with foreign residents amounting to a relatively small percentage (30 per cent).
* Larnaca is now the subject of major infrastructural improvement, with its port becoming a cruise holiday destination, the marina expanding to reach international standards and the airport upgraded.
* It has the lowest beach and near beach house prices. The equivalent 250m² four-bedroom home on the beach in this area is £450,000-£500,000, large garden, pool, air conditioning, top quality etc, whereas for the same house in Paphos would go for £1,000,000 and for Limassol much more than this, £1,500,000.
* Pervolia village is now becoming the subject of reconstruction for its original centre and the works are now 90 per cent complete, creating many cafes and small restaurants.
* The new Four Seasons Hotel recently completed in the Sophtadhes area, 20 minutes away, with its own marina and its known top quality will provide a much needed top quality attraction.
* The expected golf course in the village of Tersefanou will be an added boost.

The locality has not been promoted by local developers abroad to a large extent and this is, perhaps, one of the reasons for low foreign demand. Until recently local projects were known for their average quality of design and construction. However, this has started to change and well designed, top quality developments are going up. Nowadays the pride of the locality, is the ecological project Possidon Beach Gardens designed by Australian landscape architects, offering private pools, security, private gardens, the largest manmade lake in Cyprus, mature tree planting etc.

However, now is the time to invest as prices may well shoot up over the next couple of years, land values have almost doubled over the last three, an indication of something bigger to follow?

The Cyprus Problem > Greek Cypriot property sales criticised May 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Occupied.
comments closed

Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs George Lillikas has said the illegal selling of Greek Cypriot properties in Cyprus’ Turkish military controlled and occupied areas sends the message that there is lack of will to solve the Cyprus question.

In statements at the House of Representatives, the Minister said that the supporters of the Annan plan seek self-vindication through the position that if the plan had been accepted by the Greek Cypriots, then one third of the occupied Greek Cypriot properties would have been saved.

Lillikas expressed the belief that no change of the extreme Turkish position on the Cyprus question should be expected during the next months, adding that the position that the Greek Cypriot side must make concessions, with a view to promote a Cyprus settlement, is short-sighted. Furthermore, he noted that both the EU and Turkey realise that the international and European laws must be restored in the Republic of Cyprus in order for Turkey to be able to join the EU.

“Whoever really believes in a settlement providing for the reunification of Cyprus, in the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, must refrain from interfering with Greek Cypriot properties, because the issues of properties and territories will be indispensable important aspects of any settlement of the Cyprus question,” he added, noting that such actions and practices in fact undermine efforts to reach a settlement.

Lillikas sent the message that “we are not going to accept either the erasure of the fundamental human right to property or of the fundamental EU principle for the protection of the right to property or the right for the return of the refugees to their homelands.”

As regards the negative stance of the Turkish side with regard to the implementation of the July 8 agreement, he said that this agreement was a result of actions and initiatives of the Cypriot government and was reached with the unanimous position of the UN Security Council five permanent members.

He said it was very significant that the international community and the EU support, publicly, the July 8 agreement, adding that “beyond this, the government outlines the issue of properties and of promoting a Cyprus settlement to all of its bilateral contacts, and in the framework of discussions within the EU, and this does not mean that we want to move the Cyprus question from the UN framework to the EU.”

Lillikas said that the natural framework to seek a Cyprus settlement is the UN, noting however that Cyprus’ accession to the EU changes the political environment as well as Turkey’s accession course, and that the acquis communautaire and the EU fundamental principles should be taken into consideration to the settlement of the problem.

Replying to a question, Lillikas said “our effort is through the support of the international community to convince the Turkish government that its policy does not lead to a settlement and does not serve the long-term interests of Turkey, which wants to join the EU.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. In April 2004, the majority of the Greek Cypriot community rejected a solution plan proposed by then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, while the Turkish Cypriot community accepted it, in separate referenda.

Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed on 8 July 2006, during a meeting in Nicosia in the presence of UN official Ibrahim Gambari, to begin a process of bicommunal discussions on issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and concurrently those that concern substantive issues, both contributing to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.