You won’t have to eat in your car anymore - unless you want to. It’s Greek To Me will move later this year across the street to a location that will have a single digit address change - 1702 Sixth Ave. The new space will triple the dining room of the tiny drive-up stand Jim Wick has operated on the edge of the Sixth Avenue business district for more than 20 years.
“The menu and prices are not going to change. We’re going to be nicer, bigger and more comfortable,” said Wick by phone today. The bigger dining room is promising news for anyone who has stood in the rain waiting for a gyro or pizza slice because the entry was crammed. Wick said the style of ordering - at the counter - will remain unchanged. He’s adding a drive-thru to the building, which is a good thing because I probably would start a protest campaign if I couldn’t get a gyros sandwich handed to me through my car window (tzatziki stains on my shirt be damned). The new space also will have outdoor seating - a good thing for the seasonal sport of Sixth Avenue hipster watching.
The transition to the new building will be smooth and short, said Wick. He doesn’t expect a closure beyond a day or two when the restaurant moves. Two kitchens - one for catering, one for the restaurant - are being built now. Wick expects to move sometime between October and the end of the year, depending on how permitting and construction go.
Wick has developed a neat fascination with unearthing the history of the building that will house his new It’s Greek To Me. He recounted that it was built in 1919 as an auto service business, then it became an aeronautical school in the 1940s -a barber shop and barbecue restaurant followed. During demolition, crews found an intact copy of a 1926 Tacoma Daily Ledger - a predecessor of The News Tribune - in the wall behind a toilet. They also uncovered century old wood beams, which Wick said he’s leaving exposed where possible - in the hallways and office space area he’ll try and rent out.
Wick has a long and interesting story in the South Sound restaurant world. He opened the first It’s Greek to Me more than 20 years ago with Johnnie Dimakis (see the throwback photo here from our 1994 archive - Wick is on the left, Dimakis on the right). The duo parted ways, opening different versions of Greek restaurants, only to return to work together at the downtown Puyallup It’s Greek To Me, which opened in September 2010. The downtown Puyallup It’s Greek To Me is a full-service, sit-down Greek eatery with a menu of all the same favorites you can find at the Tacoma It’s Greek To Me - gyros and souvlaki sandwiches, Greek salads, dolmades, calamari steak, moussaka, spanakopita, baklava - and pizza and pasta.
It’s Greek To Me Tacoma locationWhere: 1703 Sixth Ave., TacomaMoving later this year: 1702 Sixth Ave., TacomaInfo: 253-272-1375, www.itsgreektomerestaurant.com
It’s Greek To Me Puyallup locationWhere: 328 S. Meridian, PuyallupInfo: 253-200-2333, www.itsgreektomerestaurant.com