SPRING HILL — Lovers of Greek cuisine should welcome news that a second such ethnic-themed restaurant is headed to Spring Hill.
The Little Greek Restaurant, with 13 locations throughout Tampa, is moving outside Hillsborough County and has set its sights on Spring Hill, Valrico, Orlando, Clearwater and Texas.
Nick Vojnovic, president of Little Greek Restaurant, and its founder Sigrid Bratic, formed a partnership in April of 2011 with the goal of expanding.
“This is an exciting time for Little Greek Restaurant, and for everyone who is involved, including the communities we are expanding to,” according to Vojnovic.
Vojnovic said he is looking for a spot somewhere in Spring Hill but has not inked a deal yet. He hopes to announce something soon.
A Little Greek Restaurant recently opened in Trinity, off State Road 54 and Little Road. There is also a site near Little Road and Fox Hollow Drive in Port Richey.
The Spring Hill location, which will employ 10-15 people, is set to open in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Some of its menu items include Greek salad, gyros, chicken souvlaki (skewers), spanakopita (spinach pie) and dolmades (stuff grape leaves).
Vojnovic said he is looking at markets “that will be a perfect fit” for his eatery.
“We are looking forward to entering these new markets and starting the next phase of our franchise growth,” he said.
Most Little Greek locations are open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week and, provide dine-in, take-out, and catering.
Jennifer Bujalski, marketing manager for the chain, said the Little Greek Restaurant is an example of the new “fast-casual” type of restaurant where patrons can order quickly, either sit down or pick up at the drive-through.
She compares it to Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill.
“Nobody has time to sit down in a dining establishment,” said Bujalski, who added that the menu is Americanized to appeal to all tastes.
Bujalski said the chain relies on customers to tell it where to open a new restaurant. So many people from Spring Hill visited the Pasco County sites that is seemed prudent to move there after the real estate representatives looked at the area, she said.
When opened, Vojnovic’s chain will compete with The Greek City Café, at 3125 Commercial Way,
Owned by father and son John and Nicholas Pappas, that restaurant opened eight years ago. John Pappas said he believes he can withstand any competition because of his established customer base and varied menu.
John Pappas said he is sure people will try the competition once it opens, but they’ll be back.
“It’s competition,” he said. “But I feel comfortable with what I offer my customers.”
Business is so brisk, in fact, that Pappas said he is negotiating with officials to open a second Hernando County location in the Mariner Square shopping center, at Mariner Boulevard and State Road 50. That location could open in four months.
Bujalski said said both restaurants can co-exist in one area. There’s enough market for everyone, she added.
To learn more about both Greek restaurant chains, visit: http://www.greekcitycafe.com/locations.html and http://www.mylittlegreek.com/.