Acropolis celebrates 35 years in Chattanooga

Vegetarian Greek lasagna at Acropolis. (Photo by Mark Gilliland)
photo Vegetable lemon pasta at Acropolis. (Photo by Mark Gilliland)

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ACROPOLISAddress: 2213 Hamilton Place Blvd.Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.Phone: 423-899-5341

Chattanooga is counting down the final weeks of summer vacation, and at Acropolis, it is not business as usual. Between back-to-school shopping and out-of-town visitors, there is no telling when the Mediterranean restaurant will see a rush, said co-owner Nick Kyriakidis.

It was 3 p.m. on a hot Friday afternoon when I had stopped by, and I was surprised to find a full dining room. In one corner, a woman dined alone with a book and a glass of white wine, and in the other corner, a multi-generational family shared a plate of Greek nachos. To my left, a row of grade school-aged boys at a high-top table sucked loudly at their straws, eyes glued to the BMX match on a nearby flatscreen TV.

“We are a come-as-you-are family restaurant,” Nick said, adding, “and it’s kind of neat that we are one of the only family-run businesses in Hamilton Place.”

In fact, this month Acropolis celebrated 22 years at its current location, and 35 years serving the Scenic City.

“Thirty-five years ago, people didn’t know a lot about Greek cuisine,” Nick said. “But now, everybody knows about olive oil, feta cheese and spanakopita.”

And as the city’s tastes evolved, so did Acropolis. Over the years its menu has expanded to include more fusion fare, such as the Greek nachos — featuring housemade potato chips, feta, mozzarella, gyro meat, red onions, olives, tzatziki, basil pesto and tomato-cucumber relish — as well as a number of fresh fish and vegetarian entrées.

Of course, some of its most traditional Greek recipes, such as its moussaka, have remained steadfast since the beginning, Nick said. Because unlike summer vacation, some things are timeless.

Why not make the most of the final weeks of summer vacation?