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Owner of Avli Greek Tavern set to open Baraki Café in Bayside

Baraki opens in Bayside
Photo by Ethan Marshall

A new small plate and cocktail restaurant will be opening soon next to the Avli The Little Greek Tavern on Bell Boulevard. Patrons can look forward to dining at Baraki, which is scheduled to have a soft opening on July 25 before its grand opening on Sept. 9.

According to Foti Koukounas, owner of Baraki and Avli, the soft opening is meant to help get the staff acclimated to the area and organized. In the meantime, minor renovations are being made both inside the new restaurant and outside Koukounas’ businesses to help improve the area and attract more customers.

Baraki opens in Bayside
Photo by Ethan Marshall

In addition to working on the wiring and interior of Baraki, Koukounas is in the process of removing an outdoor seating area set up in front of Avli Tavern and the former Little Green Café, the restaurant that occupied what is now Baraki.

The removal of the structure will help make the restaurants more visible for those passing by and create more parking spaces right in front of his businesses. Koukounas anticipates the structure will be completely removed as early as July 12. He said the only things he paid for in this work was for the workers who are taking it down and the container being used to carry the remnants of the structure off.

Baraki opens in Bayside
Photo by Ethan Marshall

According to Koukounas, he decided to rebrand the Little Green Café as Baraki approximately eight months ago. Prior to that, the Little Green Café had occupied the space for approximately 4 1/2 years before the COVID-19 pandemic led to its closure.

Baraki opens in Bayside
Photo by Ethan Marshall

“We wanted to do [the rebranding and reopening] right,” Koukounas said. “Baraki will basically be twice what the Little Green Café was here. We’ll be offering brunch and snacks, as well as small plates at night. I can’t wait to share it with the community.”

In addition to being a preeminent brunch spot for the neighborhood, Baraki will attempt to bring its Greek roots to the restaurant. According to Koukounas, he is shipping furniture for the café from Greece.

Between the new restaurant’s upcoming opening and the cleaning up of the area in front of Baraki and Avli, Koukounas is looking forward to the community flocking to these Greek restaurants from the morning to the evening. He also views getting rid of the outdoor seating area as a step toward a return to normalcy after the pandemic.

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