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Beloved, Long-Shuttered 'Gyros on the Spit' Restaurant Reopening on Lincoln

By Serena Dai | December 6, 2013 6:32am
  Gyros on the Spit  , an old Lakeview favorite that shuttered in 2000 after 27 years, is reopening on Lincoln Avenue early 2014.
Gyros on the Spit
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LAKEVIEW — Gyros on the Spit, an old Lakeview favorite that shuttered in 2000 after 27 years, is reopening on Lincoln Avenue early next year.

Greek immigrant George Sakkas opened the fast-casual restaurant in 1973 at 3138 N. Broadway Ave., now the location of the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce, and closed after the family lost the lease, his son Dino said.

Now Dino Sakkas, who grew up working at the restaurant, is reviving the old family gyros recipe in the former Splice Kitchen at 2826 N. Lincoln Ave., with an opening planned for mid-to-late January. 

Dino Sakkas ventured into other service industry jobs after the restaurant closed, from bartending to nightclub promotions, but he always wanted to open his own place. 

Using his father's recipes was an obvious option.

The elder Sakkas' food had a bit of a following. Celebrity chef Paul Bartolotta, who ran Spiaggia in the 1990s, told the Tribune in 1998 that Gyros on the Spit offered the best gyros in the city.

And when the new Gyros on the Spit started a Facebook page two years ago, many people - including out-of-towners - called Sakkas to get information, he said.

"If I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it right," Sakkas said. "And to honor my dad. He had such a great place."

The Sakkas way: Make the gyros from scratch with only meat and spices, fresh each day, he said.

Dino Sakkas will be the chef of the full-service restaurant, but George, who is now retired, will be around to help out, too. In addition to the gyros, they'll be serving kebobs, pitas, Greek chicken and other Greek side dishes.

Prices will most likely range between $7 and $14. The restaurant will seat 50 people, and will have a small bar that will serve local craft beers.

"It’s going to be casual, very welcoming, family-friendly," Sakkas said. "Just come in with the family, have a sandwich and have a drink."