A taste of the Greek islands has landed in Preston Royal thanks to one family’s new restaurant. Gus Kostas, founder of Greek Isles Grille in Plano, has opened a second location with a little help from his two sons, John and Chris.
But the story of getting the Greek eatery to Preston Road has a little bit more history than that. Preston Royal Southwest owner Robert Mitchell remembers chatting with George Nikolopoulos, owner of nearby shoe-repair shop The Cobbler, and lamenting the lack of Greek food in the area.
“About a year and a half ago, I was bemoaning that we had lost the best Greek restaurant nearby,” Mitchell said. “George suggested getting Gus [Kostas] from Plano to Preston Royal.”
At that suggestion, Mitchell started making regular trips to the restaurant to test out the cuisine.
“Kay, my wife, is very picky, and she said she loved the food,” he said. “My wife’s favorite and mine are the lamb chops with Greek spices. We didn’t like lamb chops before, but we do now.”
Eventually, a deal was reached to secure a restaurant space that has traditionally been filled by a French eatery. Most recently, Le Rendezvous took up the location. So the new tenants took up the task of transforming French décor to Greek.
“A truck pulled up with four marble statues,” Mitchell said. “It took two guys to get them out. They’re tremendously heavy.”
But marble statues aren’t the only things they brought with them. Inside the restaurant, diners will find turquoise blue walls to remind them of the Aegean Sea, and large photos of Kymi, the Kostas family’s hometown in Greece.
Though Gus started the original location 21 years ago, his son John is transitioning to run it, while younger son Chris will run the Preston Royal location.
“We grew up in the restaurant. It was the first thing we learned,” Chris Kostas said. “It was always the plan to build on my dad’s.”
Chris spent a few years in Greece playing soccer professionally, but made his way back to Dallas to be near family and the restaurant.
“When you play soccer overseas, the season is nine months out of the year,” he said. “I found myself working in a restaurant [during the offseason]. I learned the culture and service the way Greek restaurants do it.”
The Kostas family offers traditional favorites such as gyros, spanakopita, dolmas, beeftekia, and pastitso at both of their restaurants, and they strive to add personable service along with it.
“He sure is handy with this place,” Mitchell said. “I’ve never seen a new tenant in all my 40 years here having as much fun.”