Restaurant News

A Dine-In Saloniki Greek (With a Full Bar) Opens in Harvard This Fall

The third location of Jody Adams's sandwich shop will have an expanded meze menu and cocktails.


Saloniki Greek-inspired cocktails

Saloniki’s Cambridge location debuted creative, Greek-inspired cocktails in May. / Photo provided by Saloniki

The food hall inside the renovated Harvard Smith Campus Center is almost fully open as four local brands debuted earlier this month. Each one has new menu specials for the Harvard Square community—Pavement now spins soft-serve coffee ice cream; Bon Me has a breakfast menu; and seasonal frozen drinks rotate on the menu at Blackbird Doughnuts. Now, Saloniki Greek is eyeing an October 3 opening with the most ambitious exclusives yet: The Harvard location will be a flagship version of the gyro shop, with cocktails, a meze bar, and more expanded offerings.

Award-winning chef Jody Adams opened the first Saloniki in Fenway with partners Eric Papachristos and Jonathan Mendez in 2016, just before she shuttered Harvard Square institution Rialto after 20-plus years. The counter-service sandwich shop added a Central Square location in early 2017.

The first Cambridge location launched with not only the familiar menu of build-your-own gyros, grain bowls, and salads with toppings like honey-garlic pork shoulder, spicy lamb meatballs, and zucchini feta fritters, but also Saloniki’s first coffee program.

Greek-inspired cocktails debuted in May to complement the Central Square location’s lineup of Greek wines and beers, like the exclusive Harpoon Saloniki Saison. The second Cambridge outpost will pour all of those things on draft; and will have a full coffee and espresso menu from La Colombe.

Chef Pantazis Deligiannis recently joined the Saloniki team as culinary manager. From Thessaloniki, the restaurant’s namesake city and Papachristos’s hometown, he has relocated to the area to oversee the Smith Center test kitchen that will pilot a daily breakfast menu with phyllo pies and more; a new line of Greek-style pastries baked in-house; and more savory side dishes and mains like souvlaki, moussaka, and grilled pitas.

Guests will still order from a register at a counter, but there will also be servers on the floor armed with tablets to place additional orders from the dining room. There is also a 13-seat bar. Welcome to “the next phase of Saloniki,” a press release declares, where there is “a renewed focus on the dine-in experience to create an environment where guests will want to linger over a cocktail with friends or enjoy a leisurely dinner with family.”

Adams, who was inducted into the the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who in Food & Beverage in America this year, also owns full-service spots Trade and Porto. She and her partners are opening additional locations of both Trade and Saloniki at Logan Airport next year.

Elsewhere in the Smith Center, a third Whole Heart Provisions is also on track to open this fall.

24 Dunster St., Cambridge, salonikigreek.com.