The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill is planning the first restaurant in Jacksonville

Gyros, baklava, spanakopita, and other Mediterranean home cooking will be on the menu when the Great Greek Mediterranean Grill opens its first restaurant in northeast Florida in north St. Johns County.

The restaurant is slated to open at The Shoppes of St. John’s Parkway in St. John’s in late August or early September, Nick Dela Penna, president of The Great Greek, told the Times-Union on Friday via email.

Citing St. Johns County’s consistent annual top ranking as one of Florida’s fastest growing counties, Penna said the mall is at the intersection of St. Johns Parkway and 210 County Road near the Duval / St. Johns County Line an ideal place for the restaurant.

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“This is the main commercial intersection within the community. It has a large number of road users. The easy access to the plaza makes it convenient for customers,” said Penna, noting that a new community – SilverLeaf – is coming to the area soon.

According to the developer Sleiman Enterprises, The Great Greek will join the Al Dente Ristorante Italiano, the Canopy Road Café, Ember & Iron, the Xtreme Wings Sports Grille and the Cuban Bistro from 1928.

The restaurant’s menu includes Greek and other Mediterranean specialties – all freshly prepared.

Starters are hummus, dolmades, melitzanosalata, spanakopita and tirokafteri. Classic favorites include a Greek salad, gyros, an Athenian burger, falafel pita, a Greek rice bowl, and a Greek salad wrap.

Main courses include grilled Australian lamb, chicken, steak or garlic prawn souvlaki or a spinning top, falafel or mezze combination plate. The restaurant also offers desserts such as baklava, kourabiedes cookies, rice pudding and baklava ice cream, depending on the menu.

The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill plans to open its first Jacksonville area restaurant at The Shoppes of St. Johns Parkway, 60 Shops Blvd.  in St. John's.

With 14 locations in seven states, the fast-casual chain, headquartered in West Palm Beach, plans to expand nationwide. There are more than 113 restaurants that are either open or currently “in the pipeline”, Chuck McAulay, director of marketing for the restaurants division of the United Franchise Group, which includes the Great Greek.

Florida has three restaurants open and three coming soon, including the St. Johns location, according to the company’s website.

Dharti Patel, the local franchisee, could not be reached for comment on Friday.

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