HOUSTON, Texas -- A popular restaurant in Northwest Houston is bringing a taste of Old World Greece to the Lone Star State.
Maria Stefanakis and Ari Varoutsos first opened Athena's in 2020. Despite the challenges of opening a new restaurant at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Athena's quickly began to develop a reputation as a neighborhood spot where you're treated like family.
"People who have been to Greece, they say, Mr. Ari, this is better than Greece!" said Varoutsos.
For Stefanakis, it was a lifelong dream to open a Greek restaurant. She first immigrated to the U.S. from Greece in 1974 and began to work in restaurants. She ran a barbecue spot before deciding to open Athena's, where she serves the Greek dishes she grew up cooking with her mother and grandmother.
"My recipes are my grandmom's," said Stefanakis. "If I cook, especially my spanikopita, I feel for my grandmom. I'm very proud because I came to the United States almost speaking no English, and now I own my own business. I love this country because its made me a success."
To check out Athena's online, visit athenasgreekkitchen.com.