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Hunters Point’s first Greek restaurant opens Tuesday


Sept. 14, 2015 By Christian Murray

Hunters Point’s first Greek restaurant is opening tomorrow.

The owners of Shi Restaurant and Skinny’s Cantina are opening the restaurant, called Kavala, which is located at 10-07 50th Avenue.

The restaurant represents the opening of Skinny and Shih Lee’s third restaurant in the neighborhood. They are partners in the venture with Joseph Licul who is also a co-owner of Skinny’s Cantina.

KavalabarThe Lee brothers also have an ownership stake in Pink Canary, the French bakery located on Jackson Avenue, and have taken over the lease of the property that was formerly occupied by the Waterfront Crab House.

“Kavala is a modern take on authentic Greek [cuisine],” said Arthur Saks, who is the head chef.

The menu (see below) includes traditional Greek items such as grilled octopus, grilled head-on prawns, souvlaki, whole fish and lamb.

Saks, who was trained in Greek cooking at the restaurant Kyma in Atlanta, said Kavala will be open to the public tomorrow and will operate Tuesday through Sunday from 4pm to 10:30 pm.

The restaurant will be closed on Mondays.

Saks said that he plans to start offering a lunch menu in about a month, with the restaurant likely to be open between 11:00am to 3pm Tuesday-Friday. On Saturdays and Sundays he plans to offer a brunch menu.Kavalainterior

Kavala, which has a full liquor license, features a bar and has an extensive wine list.

It seats about 50 people, including the bar area where there are eight stools.






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So considering no one in LIC gives anything new a chance, I’ll go ahead and let you know that I had one of the best dinners of my life here (the lamb chops). Yes, it’s new and it’s owned by people who own other things (the horror!) but could it be that these owners understand a thing or two about opening successful restaurants? We met a man named Michael there who I believe is part owner and he made us feel like a million bucks. The service was perfect, the food was incredible and I honestly can’t wait to go back. If the people of LIC decide to be snobs per usual and get angsty over something new then thats OK with me because that will just guarantee my reservation every weekend!
Also, as a side note… it’s incredibly discouraging to see the way the people who live in LIC tear down establishments. It’s totally bizarre.

glad to see

Sorry to report that I was very disappointed with the food here. I ordered the whole fish that came out cold because they held it in the kitchen while they cooked my friends $28 pork chop.( A special that was expensive for sure but definitely not special)Then they thought if was a good idea to put the same fish in again “to heat it up” which over cooked it. I took a few bites and left to eat a slice around the corner at Slice. They asked me what was wrong because I didn’t eat anything. I explained that they over cooked the fish and that it was not acceptable. They then proceeded to give me a check for the whole meal even thought they ruined my meal. Never again!!

George de Stefano

“The owners of Shi Restaurant and Skinny’s Cantina are opening the restaurant.”
Great. Now they’ll be serving crappy Greek food, building on the reputation they established with crappy Asian and crappy Mexican. And all the yuppies will love it, as long as they have enough booze in them.


Why anyone eats at Skinny Cantina when we have Casa Enrique in the neighborhood is beyond me. At least Shi is passable with a good view.


Shi and Skinny’s are very well run, good food establishments. They understand their customers very well and they will bend over backwards to make you happy. This is not just opinion but can be witnessed by their busy restaurants and their expanding LIC empire. Please feel free to name a better Chinese or Mexican option in the immediate neighborhood.

George de Stefano

Sure. Casa Enrique is a far superior Mexican restaurant. A real Mexican restaurant, I might add, not a theme park one like Skinny’s. As for Shi, I had sushi there when the place was new. Never again. McDonald’s is always busy, too, and its customers love it. So what?


Hey George de stefano – first of all, if you don’t like the owners of or food at Shi or Skinny’s, the solution is very simple…..don’t eat there. As far as Kavala goes, I’m sure that your opinion isn’t from experience….so why don’t you take it, shove it up your ass, and sprinkle some feta cheese and EVOO on top 🙂


@George – clearly you are a novice at cuisine as Casa and Skinny’s are two VERY different types of mexican fare and two very different environments, purposefully – Skinny’s is a cantina, meant to be a fun bar like atmosphere, I mean they have a pinata sometimes! Casa is very elegant, and focuses more on the ceviches and elegant mexican, heck they have a michelin star!

As for Shi, anyone who knows anything about restaurants knows that you don’t judge them based on the first 1-2 months of operating, they are working out the kinks and getting into their groove. If I judged everything by the first time i went there right after they opened, there would be a lot less places in the hood to dine in – When Testacchio opened, it was TERRIBLE. But I have gone back and it”s improved (not my fave italian in the hood, but you see my point).

Give Kavala a try, or don’t, your taste is clearly flawed imho, so they’d be better off without you anyhow.


“Please feel free to name a better Chinese or Mexican option in the immediate neighborhood.”

Is this a joke? There’s a Michelin starred Mexican down the street that actually serves fresh, good food at prices comparable to Skinny’s – in some instances its even cheaper. As far as good Chinese food, the area is a wasteland. Shi is passable, but it also tries to double as a nightclub and that’s not where I want to enjoy dinner

Lic Resident #9

I was intrigued to learn that the Chef Saks worked at Kyma as I used to live in Atlanta and dined there many times (happily). TBD with the new spot but always pleased to have more variety in cuisine choices in the 11101.

Astoria Resident

This site is basically news about restaurants that either opening or closing. Do Americans even know how to cook anymore?


This has another overpriced, mediocre menu like the majority of places in the neighborhood. With these prices, you’ll still come ahead grabbing a taxi and going to Astoria.

Anonymous visitor

Yes, and they all suck.

Our 10th Italian joint will be opening up on Jackson avenue. Another brick oven pizza / Italian place.

Supposedly where El Ay Si used to be they’re putting in a high end sushi bar. Good luck. We’ve already doubled up on Japanese in less than a year on Vernon.

I’m all for new selections in the neighborhood, but these entree prices are kind of a turn off.
Hopefully it’s good.
The smart option would have been to just partner with a successful Astoria Greek restaurant, but we’ll see what happens.

Can we just all agree it doesn’t matter what opens in LIC because there are already too many Italian joints and not even a place to buy fricking socks?


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