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Athos highlights Greek cuisine, culture

An authentic Greek dining and cultural experience has come to 1814 Western Avenue in the form of Athos, a new restaurant that opened Friday, Aug. 1.

Athos occupies the former CafE Cabernet building, which has been completely renovated to reflect an authentic Greek establishment.

The owners added a private dining area for large parties and furnished it with a big-screen television, in addition to other upgrades.

Co-owner George Danes said Athos allows patrons to experience authentic Greek dining and offers easy access from throughout the Capital District.

Athos' menu features fresh fish, lamb and beef, Danes said. It also offers a choice of healthy salads, and all the traditional Greek desserts.

The restaurant is owned by Harry Hatziparaskevas, Danes and Stratton Sokaris. Hatziparaskevas and Danes are cousins, and Sokaris is Danes' nephew.

Danes said he believes he has found a winning team, combining youth and experience and a motivation to provide and authentic Greek experience.

Each member of the team brings something different to the table, he said.

Sokaris brings culinary experience from Jack's Oyster House, Longfellows in Saratoga, and Arlington Steak House in West Sand Lake. He is a recent graduate of Schenectady County Community College with a degree in Culinary Arts and Management.

He said his line of work can often be stressful, and now that they have opened up a new restaurant that has seen some sizable crowds, it is a real rush.

You've got to love it, otherwise you're in the wrong line of work, Sokaris said.

Hatziparaskevas is the executive chef and brings 45 years of cooking experience, co-owner George Danes said. Hatziparaskevas was busy preparing for lunch, which Athos now serves, and was unable to comment.

He was a chef in Manhattan at the Greek restaurant Ithaka, which he has now left in the charge of his son.

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