By Kristin Boza
The Western Avenue landscape will be changing over the coming months, as Nicky’s Grill and Yogurt builds a fresh new restaurant on the corner of 105th Street. Paul Kostopanagiotou, owner of the popular eatery now located at 103rd and Western, says the new space will double the seating capacity of his longtime spot and will include outdoor patio options and, eventually, roof top seating.
Kostopanagiotou and his team of architects and designers are keeping two walls of the existing building on the lot, but pairing them with a unique design utilizing shipping containers.
“I’ve spent a lot of time visiting other restaurants made from shipping containers and looking at pictures of this type of construction from around the world. We’ve been researching and working on the design, and are lucky to have sourced the shipping containers from a company in Dixmoor, Illinois. I love the corrugated container look, and I think the final design will be really eye-catching,” he said.
After working with the city to finalize the plans, Kostopanagiotou decided to stack two shipping containers on top of each other for the main part of the building. A single shipping container on another side of the building will allow for roof top seating.
“The building will be made up of five total containers; four will be stacked, and one will be the ‘ground level’ container with stairs from the outside leading to the roof. While the roof top won’t be open right away once construction is completed, we will have a full outdoor seating area for families to enjoy,” he said.
Nicky’s has always been known as a place for quick, fresh food that welcomes families. The vision for the new restaurant includes a liquor license for beer and wine, including a special brew from neighbor Horse Thief Hollow to be sold exclusively at Nicky’s.
“Nicky’s is a quick service restaurant, but even if you only have 20 minutes or so, you should still enjoy it. We want families to come and hang out and enjoy a meal,” Kostopanagiotou said.
The new restaurant building continues the trend started by other businesses that engaged in big remodels on Western Avenue.
“I’m focused on getting the corner of 105th and Western to look really nice. I’ve been here for 20 years and I’m comfortable making this investment because Beverly completely supports small businesses; people here really keep their money here,” Kostopanagiotou said. “Neil (Byers) at Horse Thief Hollow started it on Western Avenue, then Open Outcry did it, and Swanson’s as well. Our thought is if we invest on Western in the footsteps of others, then somebody else is going to do something too.”
Ground breaking is expected to be in mid-March, with a grand opening in this summer. In the meantime, Nicky’s will be open at its original location, 10255 S. Western Ave.
“I can really feel the energy from our customers; everyone is so supportive and it makes me feel confident that we made the right move,” Kostopanagiotou said.