A Greek classic revival

The much-loved Kolossi Grill is being revived for a new generation of diners

When the Kolossi Grill on Rosebery Avenue shut up shop last year, it was considered a sad loss – and another sacrifice to Covid-19. The proprietor Harry Nicola had hosted the Greek Cypriot restaurant for many years, and it had been a beacon of the district since its foundation in 1966, when there were few restaurants in the area.

Now barrister and businessman David Lonsdale has taken a ten-year lease on the Kolossi, and is currently converting it into a modern Greek restaurant.

 “We want to keep the name and the Greek food, as that’s what it’s known for,” says David, who also owns and runs the Sekforde pub in Sekforde Street. “But we will modernise the menu and bring in some of the best Greek wines.” With breakfasts and chairs and tables outside, he hopes to attract those attracted to Exmouth Market and theatre-goers from Sadler’s Wells. It will be managed by George Matthews and Tom Raffe, pictured.

The Kolossi was once a haunt of journalists from The Guardian when it was on Farringdon Road, and known by expense-account diners as the “Colossal Bill” or the “Colostomy”. It also hosted belly dancers. There are no plans to revive those years, and the folksy interior with its plastic ivy is being cleaned out, but the frontage, with its trademark pediment, pillars and Hellenic script will probably remain. “It’s a local landmark, after all” says David. The new Kolossi Grill will open this summer