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Meet Nikolaos Karelas of Karellas Cafe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nikolaos Karelas of Karellas Cafe. He and his team share their story with us below:

Karellas Cafe originally opened in 2012. It first started off as a place for Greek-Americans with common interests to come drink coffee, hangout and watch soccer. We always had a kitchen but rarely veered from serving coffees. It was very hard to rebrand from the café vibe we provided to the restaurant environment we offer now.

Emmanuel Karelas (Owner) built this establishment with blood, sweat, tears, and determination. He values offering World Class products and portions for an affordable price. During the pandemic, we decided to invest in new kitchen equipment, revamped menus, store renovations, and new marketing techniques to attract people to try what we believe is the best Greek food in town!

The food, recipes, preparation, cooking, and service are all from the Karellas Family and are provided every single day!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One of the struggles we have faced is having to work seven days a week with no other employees to lean on. Preparing the food, ensuring a clean environment, making sure inventory is always fully stocked can be exhausting, but the satisfaction of pleasing new faces is what gives us all the determination and drive we need to keep pushing forward.

Of course the COVID-19 pandemic was a big struggle we had to overcome as a small restaurant. At the start of the pandemic, our restaurant had to close due to the dependency our establishment had on from people walking in to order rather than ordering carryout. We tried many different ways (i.e. increasing advertising, enhancing social media) to promote carryout orders for the possibility of indoor dining not being available in the future.

While we faced adversity, we were able to overcome what was the most difficult time for the world, to now becoming a more recognizable restaurant environment.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Karellas Cafe is an establishment that provides authentic Greek cuisine all for the right price. My father, Emanuel Karelas, is the owner while I play the role of manager. I am in charge of the social media and advertising aspect, as well as the server and chef. I am constantly finding new ways to make this establishment flourish through my passion of marketing and photography. 

What I would say that sets us apart from others is we are the actual owners of the restaurant preparing the food. We take extra care of the preparation to make sure it is as consistent and delicious with each plate that goes out to our customers. What I am most proud of is we have created a strong loyal network, and a friendly social environment in just a small row home neighborhood in Greektown!

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
People can support our business by first and foremost coming in to try our delicious Greek food! Also, by liking us on Facebook (Karellas Café) and following us on Instagram, @karellascafe. Be sure to leave a review on Google too!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Jennifer Bishop

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