Satisfy your breakfast or lunch cravings at City Line Diner in Worcester, the new restaurant from Bill Athanasiou and George Gidopoulos.
The diner opened in the fall of 2018 at 1420 Main St., the former location of Friendly’s restaurant. Business partners and friends, Athanasiou and Gidopoulos renovated the property after purchasing it.
Both men, who live in Worcester, have families deeply rooted in food service.
Athanasiou said his father, Archie Athanasiou, owned a pizza business in Bedford for more than 30 years, and his grandfather, Vasilios Athanasiou, co-owned and operated the former Howard Johnson’s in West Boylston in the early '90s.
Gidopoulos is originally from Sturbridge, where his father, Bobby Gidopoulos, owned Village Pizza. He sold that business and Village Pizza in Spencer before retiring.
“George and I both own other properties, and when we purchased the old Friendly’s together we wanted a concept that would work in this neighborhood,” said Athanasiou.
The concept and inspiration for the name of the business are based on Athanasiou’s fondness for diners. City Line Diner seemed like a good fit, he said, especially since it’s located near the Leicester line.
It took the owners about a year to remodel the restaurant space, replacing plumbing and electrical systems. “We are very happy how it all turned out,” said Atanasiou. “Our customers tell us they’re happy, too,”
Here’s what people on social media have to say about City Line Diner: “Great food. Hot, delicious. Large portions. Variety. Love the diner.”
Both owners work in the restaurant, admitting they fill in on any job when needed. “I didn’t want to open a place where I wasn’t involved in the day-to-day operation,” said Gidopoulos. “If a cook or a waitress calls out, Bill or I fill in. We wash dishes, cook and wait tables.”
They also like to chat with customers, often asking them what they like or maybe dislike about the diner. Feedback is important, whether positive or negative, said Gidopoulos. “We listen to what customers tell us.”
City Line Diner is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Seating for 70 includes 10 at the marble-top counter. Telephone (774) 420-2992; connect on Facebook.
James Simonelli heads the diner’s kitchen. The menu features “breakfast all day,” including a variety of egg dishes, Signature Omelets, Eggs Benedict (Irish, Popeye, Bacon Cheeseburger, BBQ Pulled Pork), Pancakes, French Toast, Waffles and more.
Also, Fried Chicken and Waffle, Tips & Egg Sandwich, Buffalo Chicken Quesadilla, Homemade Buffalo Chicken Mac N’ Cheese, City Line Grilled Chicken, Smothered Tips, Breakfast Burrito, Very Berry Grilled Cornbread.
Sandwiches, burgers (Angus beef), salads, soups and a kids' menu are luncheon features. Daily specials are posted on a wall chalkboard.
“If we’re considering a new menu item, we’ll offer free food samples for customers to try and comment on,” said Athanasiou. “We’ve done it a couple of times since opening.”
During the recent government shutdown, City Line Diner answered a request and delivered free food to TSA workers at Worcester Airport, according to Athanasiou, who said he and Gidopoulos were happy to do it.
Welcoming eatery and owners!
Niche Hospitality Group announces special events:
Kids Eat Free at Mezcal’s Worcester and Leominster locations, Feb. 18-22, with the purchase of a traditional plate or house specialty. The deal is good for children 12 and younger who order from the kids' menu. Dine-in only.
Allagash Beer Dinner will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 26 at The Fix Burger Bar, 108 Grove St., Worcester. Cost: $65 per person, including tax and gratuity.
Flamenco Wine Dinner is set for 9 p.m. March 15 at Bocado Tapas Wine Bar, 82 Winter St., Worcester. The event, $95 per person (including tax and gratuity), will feature an “authentic” flamenco performance.
Visit www.nichehospitality.com for more information and event reservations.
Rapscallion Kitchen & Bar in Concord will host an Iberian Wine Dinner at 6:30 p.m. March 4.
Executive chef Chris Bairos will prepare a five-course meal paired with wines from the Iberian peninsula. Cost is $85 per person, excluding gratuity. Connect with Rapscallion Kitchen & Bar on Facebook for complete menu.
Call the restaurant at (978) 610-6111 for reservations. Chef Bairos won the Judges’ Choice Award at the 2016 Worcester’s Best Chef Competition. He was chef at Amaia Martini Bar in Hudson at that time.
Rapscallion Kitchen & Bar is located at 2018 Fitchburg Turnpike. It is sister to Acton’s Rapscallion Table & Tap and Rapscallion Brewery in Sturbridge.
National Drink Wine Day is Feb. 18.
If you like to try different wines, here’s a sampling of varietals (red, white and rose) with a suggested retail of under $20:
Clos de los Siete, $19.99: A blend of malbec, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah and a little petit-verdot and cabernet franc. Exported from Argentina, the wine offers intense, fresh, fruit aromas. Intense aromas lean more towards spice than fruit and reflect the cabernet franc content in the blend.
Layer Cake Bourbon Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon, $17.99: A California wine that is dense, rich and “jammed” with scents of blackberry and vanilla. The long, mouth-coating finish is complemented by a hint of sweetness. Toasty oak influence of the bourbon and charred barrel is the result of three months of aging in old charred oak barrels.
Fleurs de Prairie Rose, $17.99: Led by cherry and grapefruit flavors, this is a silky-textured, medium-bodied wine. It finishes zesty and refreshing, with hints of tangy berries and citrus.
Barone Fini Pinot Grigio, $12: A wine that showcases aromas of floral and lemon mist with ripe juicy flavors of honeydew and apple. Bright acidity balanced with warm minerality help create a lingering crisp finish.
Peter Lehmann Barossa Shiraz, $17: Medium-bodied shiraz is sourced from 80 growers and presents a “portrait” of the Barossa region, delivering vanilla, plum and black olive aromas and flavors, supple tannins and a lingering mocha finish.
Josh Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, $14.99: Bright aromas of lime, white flowers and fresh citrus overwhelm the bouquet, with layers of nectar, peach and juicy melon on the palate.
The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts will host its annual Local Food and Specialty Crop Trade Show for wholesale buyers from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 4 at the Curry Student Center, Northeastern University, Boston.
The event will offer one-stop shopping for wholesale buyers seeking to expand offerings of local food, including specialty crops, value-added products, meat, dairy and seafood.
An estimated 100 local farmers and producers who grow and craft some of New England’s finest foods are expected to participate.
Admission for buyers and attendees is $30 per person. For a list of current vendors and buyers and more information about workshops, visit http://bostonlocalfood.com/our-events/buy-local-trade-show/.
Maria Moreira, executive director and co-founder of World Farmers, will be keynote speaker at 9 a.m. She has mentored first-time farmers since 1984 and reportedly has been a leading force in identifying and establishing market opportunities for ethnic crops in Massachusetts.
John Lebeaux, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources commissioner, will be a guest speaker at the event.
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