Greek restaurant Koukouzeli on S. Ninth Street, just a couple doors up from South Philly Barbacoa, is closed after a little more than a year in the Italian Market. It was the area’s only Greek eatery.
Spyro Tsibogos opened Koukouzeli with a menu of crispy fried dolmades, spanakopita, pita sandwiches, and sweet loukoumades in October 2018. Along with the marinated pork shoulder gyro and the chicken and steak souvlaki stuffed into pitas, the small BYOB served vegan options, including a very good dairy-free tzatziki.
With its Greek menu and bright blue and white exterior, the restaurant stood out from the mostly Italian and Mexican restaurants, bakeries, and food shops that line the street and make up the Italian Market. But maybe not enough: Connie’s Ric Rac, a dive bar and music venue next door, tends to have a crowd gathered on the sidewalk out front on show nights that blocks other businesses. Tsibogos thinks that was one factor in the restaurant’s low traffic.
But the restaurant industry veteran is already on the hunt for a new location, so expect Koukouzeli 2.0 to pop up elsewhere in the city.