Popular fast casual restaurant opening first Southern California franchise before Thanksgiving
Fans of authentic Greek and Mediterranean cuisine and the ‘most authentic Greek gyro you can get without buying a plane ticket’ will have a new go-to option as Apóla Greek Grill will open in Riverside before Thanksgiving.
The budding fast-casual brand has gained a loyal following throughout Southern California and recently expanded with a ghost kitchen option to meet the growing demand. Now, its fans will get another unique option in Riverside with a food court anchor inside the Galleria at Tyler shopping center. A grand opening celebration will follow in January, after the holidays.
This will be the first franchise location for Apola and will be opened by Franchisee Majid Zahedi, who joins with more than 30 years of experience as a restaurant owner and operator. While a mall location is unique for a debut franchise, the brand believes it gives shoppers easy access to fantastic Greek food.
“This is a high-traffic mall with convenient access to businesses and government offices nearby,” said Apola Co-Founder Yianni Kosmides. “We’re opening during peak shopping season and we are confident we’re going to launch with a bang!”
Apola’s fans flock in for the Authentic Greek Gyro, but the restaurant offers something for everyone with a variety of options. Guests can try numerous proteins like chicken, pork, beef and lamb gyro as well as grilled shrimp skewers and grilled chicken souvlaki that can be combined with a variety of spreads from the original tzatziki to a distinctive spicy hummus. All sandwiches and entrees are customizable and all proteins are halal-certified.
Vegetarians and vegans will be happy to find traditional Greek staples like dolmas, falafel, avgolemono soup and Greek salad on the menu. Apola also offers their own meatless gyro option that brings the flavor of the Greek street food favorite with a vegetarian zing – all offered via counter service inside the mall.
The Galleria at Tyler location will operate much like Apola’s other brick-and-mortar restaurants, offering catering services as well as online ordering and third-party delivery. Apola’s breakfast wraps, which are a hidden secret with loyal fans, are expected to get exposed and become an even bigger hit with the large population of nearby businesses, especially mall employees.
“I love this concept as the recipes and flavors are close to my culture and I love how Yianni and [his brother] Stefano continue to think outside the box to grow the brand,” Zahedi said. “I live in Riverside and know this mall and location very well, so I’m confident that we’ll be successful drawing more SoCal fans to Apola and our authentic Greek offerings!”
In preparation for the November opening, Apola is hiring up to 25 employees ranging from cooks and cashiers to shift supervisors and managers. Those interested are encouraged to apply here and will be contacted for an on-site interview.
Apola’s Riverside location will serve its guests from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Curbside pick-up will be available in the Galleria at Tyler Curbside Parking area sometime in 2023.
The restaurant will follow the mall’s holiday hours and be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Black Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays from Dec. 9 to Dec. 23. Apola will end the year with an 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. schedule on New Year’s Eve and noon to 6 p.m. on New Year’s Day.
Apola Greek Grill has been featured in locally in The Los Angeles Herald and California Telegraph, and on the lifestyle TV show “This is LA.” The emerging restaurant was ranked 5th in Fast Casual’s “Brands to Watch” in 2021.
Apola Greek Grill is taking the United States by storm with its authentic Greek cuisine. Founded by brothers Yianni and Stefano Kosmides in Irvine, California, the fast casual brand has gained a loyal following throughout SoCal for its fresh ingredients and familiar vibe with its regular guests. It is known for having the ‘Most Authentic Greek Gyro you can get without buying a plane ticket!’ on its menu. And with only two family-owned locations, it was ranked 5th on Fast Casual’s “Brands to Watch” in 2021. For more information, visit eatapola.com or follow on Instagram.
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