Owner: Athens Grill to get new name

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | John Mantzopoulous, owner and chef of Athens Grill in Riverhead, prepares mediterranean meatballs at a “Rebuild Athens” fundraiser held at the Suffolk Theater Saturday evening to raise money for the eatery’s restoration.

It was devastated by a grease fire last month, but Athens Grill in Riverhead will rise from the ashes next year as Mazi, a Greek word meaning “together” — and the restaurant will feature an open layout, coffee bar and enhanced menu, owner and chef John Mantzopoulos announced Saturday evening.

“We wanted to put Athens Grill to rest,” Mr. Mantzopoulos said at a “Rebuild Athens” fundraiser hosted by the Suffolk Theater to raise money for the eatery’s restoration. “When I was looking for a new name, I came up with the word “mazi.” In Greek, it means “together,” and I thought it was a very nice name because the restaurant is getting put together by the community, by my friends, and by my neighbors.”

Mr. Mantzopoulos said the new restaurant will have an open-concept feel and that the menu will focus on tapas — small plates of food people can enjoy with friends. He also plans to build a full bar as well as a coffee bar.

“We have a lot of new ideas,” he said. “We want to get people to come in three times a week instead of having a traditional dinner once every three weeks. It’s going to be a restaurant where, if you want to chill with a friend and spend 20 bucks, you can do that.”

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