Family diner to replace Kojak’s

jdeleon@bradenton.comMarch 21, 2013 

PALMETTO ­­-- Former Riverside Cafe owners will soon be back to feeding residents with the opening of a new family diner where Kojak's, which closes March 31, is now located.

Bill and Dean Christopoulos, father and son, are looking to make a come back in Palmetto, a place that Dean Christopoulos says feels is like home. They plan to open their family-owned diner. Kostas Family Restaurant, sometime in late April or early May. They own the 1631 8th Ave W, location that has been Kojak's for more than 10 years.

"We want to bring back the quality of food and diverse menu that we had for so many years to the people of Palmetto and Manatee," Dean Christopoulos.

The father and son duo hope to duplicate the success they had for eighteen years at the Riverside Cafe before selling it three years ago.

Since the sale of Riverside Cafe the family has taken their family restaurant concept to Dillsboro, North Carolina where they own and operate a Kostas Family Restaurant.

The Palmetto location will be similar, also offering a diverse menu including Greek, Italian and American dishes.

"We will have a lot of sautéed items that will be prepared on order not pre-made, like chicken marsala and veal marsala." Dean Christopoulos said. "That is what we were known for."

In addition, he says, Kostas will boast homemade soups and gravies, a variety of sandwiches and salads and of course seafood.

While hours of operation have yet to be decided, Dean Christopoulos says Kostas will be open for lunch and dinner.

The Christopoulos family,

from Chicago, has been in the restaurant business for three generations, starting with Kostas Christopoulos, the family patriarch and Dean's grandfather.

The duo is anxious to come back to Palmetto where they still feel beloved. Dean Christopoulos says many former Riverside Cafe regulars have traveled to the North Carolina Kostas.

"At least 500 old customers come up during spring break and summer and say they miss us," Dean Christopoulos said.

Jessica De Leon, Herald Reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. Follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

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