Chances are, if you've visited George's Greek Village, you've had the pleasure of meeting George's "right hand woman", Daniela Goldsworthy, the front of the house Manager of the restaurant.
Daniela's passion for people and bringing top notch hospitality to each and every guest who comes through the door are an integral part of the experience when you enter the front doors, so we thought it would be great to catch up with her and find out a little more about her in this month's Employee Spotlight!
I am a mother of 3 children and a grandmother of 8 and spending time with my family and making memories is what it's all about.
My background professionally is the hospitality industry (travel and tourism). I worked in Niagara Falls for approximately 25 years in some of the larger hotels as the Assistant Executive Housekeeper.
Working in the hospitality/service industry definitely has its rewards when you meet people from all over the world.
I have known George and his family from the days when they owned the Pine Centre Restaurant in Thorold, but it wasn't until 2003 that I actually started working in the restaurant business part-time when they purchased another greek restaurant on Lake Street.
It was in 2014 that a big shift happened in my career though, when the Kountourogiannis family purchased this venue on Queenston Street in St. Catharines.
After many discussions with George and his dad, I not only made the full time transition to this location, but George also asked me to help run the front of the house as the Manager.
Being part of the journey of George's Greek Village from the very beginning has been wonderful.
Watching this site get rejuvenated from the ground up was incredible and then hearing the positive customer feedback about how they loved the new experience, the amazing food and the service was just great.
Also being a part of the many functions that take so many hours in preparing like the weddings, anniversaries, showers, birthdays, etc. on top of our daily clientele, has been truly rewarding because I know I've been a part of making these important events memorable for people.
To see the end results of everyone celebrating is really something special. Meeting new patrons, returning patrons and the challenges daily are all what makes the job so satisfying for me!
That's a hard one! I have to say I really don't have one favourite greek dish as I enjoy all of George's dishes including his variety of feature dishes.
I'd have to say being part of such a great team.
Working with George and our entire support staff is really exciting for me and how it all has contributed to incredible feedback from our customers.
It's so exciting to know I've been a part of this new chapter of George's Greek Village that's now become Niagara's new hot spot!
Finally, I would like to say a very big thank you to George as it has been an incredible 3 years at George's Greek Village. I look forward to our future and what it has in store for us. OPA!!
TAKING A CHANCE PAID OFF BIG TIME. A VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH GEORGE KOUNTOUROGIANNIS
Since opening their doors in 2016, Georges Greek Village Restaurant in St. Catharines has been dedicated to bringing the highest quality and freshest authentic Greek cuisine to diners in the Niagara Region.
The journey for owner and chef George Kountourogiannis to this point has been a long but rewarding one. One full of uncompromising hard work, a passion for food passed down through the family and now the satisfaction of owning a successful restaurant that bears his namesake.
It all started just a few short years ago, when the lease expired on George's previous greek restaurant location on Lake Street and he decided to leave it all behind to start fresh at his new establishment on Queenston Street.
In this up close and personal interview, George reminisces about the history of the restaurant, the future and his love for cooking.
Overall says George, "It's been an incredible adventure over the past years. It's been extremely hard work but so unbelievably rewarding. Sometimes in life it's time to move on and I am so glad we did. I wouldn't change a thing and I can't wait to see what's next."
Feeling the Love in February!
February is the month of love and here at George's Greek Village, there was a lot going on that made it memorable!
To start with, we decided to introduce a new event called Galentine's Day, on February 13th. For those that may not be familiar with it, "Galentine's Day" is the nonofficial holiday where "ladies celebrate ladies."
A big thank you to all the wonderful groups of gals who came out to enjoy the evening with us and make our first Galentine's Day Dinner a success!
Valentine's Day is always a favourite time for our customers to bring the ones they love for a romantic meal. This year we celebrated the night with a packed house and some incredible feature dishes like our Lamb Lollipops Appetizer and Entrees that included: New York Strip and Shrimp topped with a Bearnaise OR Oven Baked Salmon topped with our White Wine and Dill...
We can't forget the month of love without mentioning families! Family Day was on February 18th and the restaurant was open so that families could spend quality time with their loved ones with a great meal.
And speaking of holidays and family, we thought we'd share a couple of pictures of George's trip to Greece this month!
Overall, an eventful month of February, where we definitely felt the love at George's Greek Village!
A Year of Fun, Festivities, Food and so Much More at George's Greek Village
As the new year begins, it always seems like a wonderful time to reflect on the one that has just past...
2018 was memorable at the restaurant for so many reasons. We saw many new (and regular) faces, hosted an incredible amount of special occasions and of course continued our tradition of not only bringing the best greek fare to the table, but experimenting with a lot of new flavours and dishes!
One of the things that is always so special is when a couple decides to celebrate their wedding day with us! Our year started off with a lovely reception in our banquet hall.
Our banquet hall hosted many other great occasions and receptions as well including baptisms, First Holy Communions, confirmations, baby showers, meetings, birthday celebrations, retirements, bus tours, a few more weddings, sport teams and the list goes on.
Corporate events were also a big part of our business. Because of our proximity to the Welland Canal it seemed fitting that when the St. Lawrence Seaway officially opened on March 29th that the SLSMC executives from Ontario and Quebec gathered at George's to commemorate this significant event and we were honoured to have them here!
With the warmer weather and the water thawed, that also meant that our patio season was upon us again and it was busier than ever out there this year!
We even got to see some celebrities in the mix,
Another really rewarding thing we get to do here at George's is get involved in the community and this past year was no exception.
One such event was the Pop Up Market for the Niagara Life Centre (a local support organization to assist those in crisis) which was held at the restaurant in March and December. It was not only a lot of fun for us but helped showcase local vendor's wares all in support of a great cause.
Folks who attended the Market also enjoyed lunch or dinner at the restaurant and as always our popular Chicken from the Village dish was a big hit.
Feature Dishes are another thing that really took off this year at the restaurant. Friday and Saturdays George regularly cooked up some magic in the kitchen for guests. One of the highlights was always the Lamb Shank Dinner!
Before we knew it Christmas came and it always is a busy season for us, but also one where we get to make some special treats to celebrate the season.
And speaking of family, we have to share the exciting news that George's son Brian officially joined the team in the kitchen!
And what better way to wrap up the year in review than to thank everyone who voted for us as the winner of The St. Catharines Standard Readers' Choice for #1 Greek Food Restaurant and #1 Patio in the Niagara Region!
The Holiday Season at George's Greek Village
THE EVOLUTION OF FEATURE DISHES AT GEORGE’S GREEK VILLAGE
GEORGES GREEK VILLAGE RESTAURANT – 2 YEARS AND COUNTING!
George’s Greek Village has truly become the Garden City’s recipe for success through the years not only because of the dining facilities and location, but because of the incredible people that make it happen and the food that keeps you coming back for more. Kountourogiannis himself is so passionate about his restaurant that he never takes a sideline to the workings of the day to day business, often spending 15 hours a day in the kitchen, perfecting his delicious dishes before they hit the floor. George’s passion for the business and his ability to embrace hard work is infectious but it has definitely been the wind behind the sails of the unprecedented success that the restaurant has seen since opening. Says Kountourogiannis, “what used to be a line up at the door on the weekends is now one every night!”
Some front of the house staff take a moment to pose for the camera
A Variety of Dishes Has Continued to Flow Through the Kitchen at George’s Greek Village Restaurant
“Another big part of the success we have seen I believe is because we not only create traditional favourites that our customers love week after week prepared with the freshest ingredients, but the fact that I am constantly trying to develop new and interesting twists on our traditional greek fare”, says George. Below Lamb Lollipops and Lamb Shank dinner. Two of the mouthwatering feature creations George has has come up with that keep customers coming back for more.
Georges Greek Village
535 Queenston Street,
St. Catharines, ON
Let us know what you think!