The Houston Downtown Management District has signed a deal with Niko Niko’s Greek & American Café – an iconic staple of Montrose dining – to expand for the first time in its 30+ year history with a new restaurant kiosk located in the soon-to-be-completed Market Square Park redevelopment in the heart of Houston’s Historic District. Slated to debut in time for the park’s opening, Niko Niko’s will reach back to its roots with a sidewalk café-style restaurant reminiscent of the original walk-up window shop opened on Montrose Boulevard in 1977 (the building itself has since undergone several remodels and expansions). With the piers for both the café and dog run having been poured and construction well under way on the other elements of the park, Market Square Park remains on schedule to take a late summer bow.
“Niko Niko’s is a great fit for Market Square Park,” says owner Dimitrios Fetokakis of the deal. “We’re honored that we’re right in the middle of the [Historic District’s] transformation, especially with the history of the site. Anything we can do for Houston – because its done so much for us – we’ll do it. Everybody knows that we don’t expand quickly. For our company, this is right.”
Fetokakis’ enthusiasm is shared by Downtown District leadership. “Niko Niko’s was the best choice for Market Square Park.,” says Angie Bertinot, Director of Marketing and Communications for Downtown District. “We wanted a café operator who would not only interact with the neighborhood, but also be a draw for people living outside of downtown. They are a strong brand, but more importantly serve up amazing food and provide customer service second to none. We are thrilled to have another foodie icon in the Historic District’s Market Square.” Niko Niko’s will join favorites Treebeards and Les Givral’s Kahve along with neighborhood newbie Hearsay Gastro Lounge.
Having declined opportunities to expand for decades, Fetokakis recognized the redesigned neighborhood urban green space as the perfect opportunity. “We’ve always thought about expanding,” he says. “And at 375-square-feet, we can grow the Market Square project with complete control and without jeopardizing quality. We’ve always drawn a lot of business from downtown, and this will create additional capacity for catering and corporate delivery.”
A pared down version of the flagship store’s menu will focus on to-go foods perfect for neighborhood residents and on-the-move business folk; breakfast selections; and European café-style coffee, espresso, frappes and desserts. Favorites like Niko Niko’s famous gyro sandwiches, shish kabobs, hummus and chicken avgolemono soup are making the trek downtown. They will also offer packaging for picnics in the park.
For the first time ever (and only at the Market Square Park location) Niko Niko’s will serve a Greek themed breakfast with fresh Greek yogurts and honeys, cheese pies, egg pitas, and bougatsa – a custard-filled pastry with powdered sugar. Niko Niko’s at Market Square Park will also have a selection of imported, domestic and local beer and wine. For more information, please visit www.nikonikos.com.
ABOUT DOWNTOWN DISTRICT
The Houston Downtown Management District was formed in 1995 for the purpose of revitalizing the urban core of the country’s fourth largest city. Over the past decade, the Downtown District has used a combination of public funds and private resources to catalyze area improvements focusing on the city blocks bordered by Interstate 10, Highway 59, and Interstate 45.
Since the Downtown District began operating in 1996, downtown Houston has seen $4 billion of construction completed in over 110 public and private projects, the creation of 3.2 million square feet of new Class A office space, $500 million of infrastructure improvements, 3,000 new hotel rooms spanning 11 different projects, and a 250% increase in the population of permanent residents.
The Downtown District operates under the leadership of a 30-person board of directors who oversee the implementation of the District’s strategic initiatives. Funding for the Downtown District comes from a special assessment on all downtown property owners.
The Downtown District is managing the design and construction of Market Square Park and will be operating the park when it reopens. The Downtown Redevelopment Authority is providing the funding for the park renovation.
For more information please call 713-650-3022 or visit Downtown District on the web at www.downtowndistrict.org or www.houstondowntown.com.