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Co-founder of ‘The Athenian’ leaves business to open rival Greek restaurant

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Neo Christodoulou, co-founder of the Greek restaurant enterprise ‘The Athenian’ in England, has left the Greek street food business and is preparing to launch a rival brand called Smashing Plates.

Reported by Big Hospitality, the new restaurant will open in Canary Wharf, Tooting and Wembley, all locations currently listed as being operated by The Athenian.

It would leave The Athenian with half of its estate intact, including three London restaurants in Shoreditch, Victoria and White City, and a single location in Bristol.

Gyros from the Athenian.

Documents filed to Companies House show that Christodoulou officially left as director of The Athenian earlier this month, with Richard Michael Carl Freke taking over the role.

Christodoulou founded The Athenian in 2014 with Tim Vasilakis, who is listed as still being a director of the business alongside Freke.

In a statement to Big Hospitality, Vasilakis said: “The Athenian was launched by Athens born Tim Vasilakis, as a small street food stall back in 2014, and continues to this day under his ownership.

“The Athenian remains a fiercely independent brand and continues to offer its award-winning gyros with its unique recipes from White City, Shoreditch, Victoria and Bristol as well as nationwide delivery kitchens, and is excited to be announcing new sites across the UK very soon.”

The new restaurant ‘Smashing Plates’ is described as ‘on-the-go-Greek like you’ve never eaten before’. It’s influenced by Christodoulou’s Greek-Cypriot heritage and will feature a menu centred around ‘unorthodox takes’ on classic Greek street-food dishes and gyros.

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