Christos Greek Restaurant in Minnetonka to become new Craft and Crew spot

The Minneapolis Christos Greek Restaurant location will remain open.
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Christos Greek Restaurant in Minnetonka will close on Sunday, but it will keep its Minneapolis location open. 

But the space off Highway 7 won't be empty for long. Wayzata-based Craft & Crew, the hospitality group behind several dog-friendly restaurants in the Twin Cities, will convert the space to a new restaurant, Duke's on 7.

According to an Instagram post, Duke's on 7 plans to open this summer.

"We are hoping to be the neighborhood's go-to restaurant, the place where you'll go a couple of times a week," the post said. 

Meanwhile, after 14 years, Christos Greek Restaurant will bid farewell to Minnetonka. Owner Gus Parpas announced the news on the restaurant's website on Jan. 6, saying "It's been an exciting, if not exhausting, 14 years." 

The timing to close was right for Parpas, who said he needs to make room on his calendar if he's ever going to do the things he wants to do, like develop new dishes, travel to take photos for a cookbook or write about his 33 years as a restauranteur. 

"The pandemic hastened the decision to downsize. Restrictions were imposed, rules changed, and the flow of our business was disrupted in ways that made a very hard job even harder," Parpas wrote. "Much of that burden fell on my shoulders. After much deliberation, we entered into an agreement with a local restaurant group to sell the property. ... I think this is a fine group, and you’ll like what they have to offer."

According to the Star Tribune, Craft & Crew President David Benowitz struck a deal with Parpas to buy the restaurant last summer.  

"I've been driving by that building for 10 years, and I always told myself, if it ever comes up for sale, we need to move on it, quickly," said Benowitz told the paper. "Over the summer, I had the feeling that the owner might be interested in pursuing other opportunities."

Duke's on 7 will be a new concept for Craft & Crew, Marketing and Events Director Chasity Sorenson told Bring Me The News on Friday, with the name coming from a joke that started using the owner's first names (David, Luke and Steve). 

The menu will focus on entrees, broasted chicken and a pop-up bakery with grab-and-go items. About 50-60% of dishes on the menu will come from Craft & Crew's other restaurants. For beverages, there will be 30 drinks on tap, with Duke's on 7 focusing on cocktails and "fun frozen drinks" for the patio.

There will also be a dog menu as this location will also be dog friendly.

The restaurant itself will feature a large bar with 30 bar stools and TVs around the bar, as well as a warm fireplace in the dining room. Outside, the patio "will feel like an oasis" with trees, greenery, lights and an 8-foot fence around the entire space, Sorenson said. The patio will seat 170 people and have a 14-seat outdoor bar.

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Construction will begin the first week of February, with the goal of opening in May or June, Sorenson said.

As for the Christos team, they'll put their focus on their Nicollet Avenue South location in Minneapolis, out of which they will conduct their catering business. 

To the customers in Minnetonka, Parpas in the announcement thanked them for their loyalty, friendship and generosity. 

"I will never forget the kindness with which we were received by the people of Minnetonka," Parpas wrote. "I personally consider it a privilege to have had the opportunity to serve you."

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