By Tim Leeds
The Parthenon restaurant has opened on Fifth Avenue and 17th Street, bringing cuisine directly from Greece to Havre
George Treperinas and his parents, Jim and Sheila Treperinas, own the restaurant. The cooking was learned in Greece itself; Jim moved to Montana from Greece in 1955 and Sheila moved in 1961.
George said they cook the food fresh to order with none of the main dishes made in advance.
The restaurant has sit-down dining, takes calls for take-home orders and will be opening a drive-through in a couple of weeks. George said they will have a quick lane and a main order lane in the drive-through. He said the items that take longer, like the souvlaki, should probably be ordered inside or called in ahead of time
He said they are trying to make sure everyone is well trained and everything well organized before they open the drive-through to minimize any confusion and problems.
George said he expects to open the drive-through the week-after-next. Once that is up and running, they plan to have a grand opening and start offering daily or weekly specials at the restaurant.
Jim said quite a few customers have been taking advantage of calling the order in then picking it up to take home. George said since the food is cooked fresh, it can take about fifteen minutes or so to cook up some of the orders, like the pork and lamb.
The Parthenon offers a mix of Greek and American food. Customers can buy beef or chicken Gyros; feta cheese is also there, if the customer wants it. The restaurant offers vegetarian gyros and the Americana version with ranch dressing and American Cheese. Lamb and Pork souvlaki, meat-on-a-stick, is also available, as are Greek side orders, tyropita and spanakopita. There are also pita melts or just plain pita bread available. Baklava, flogeries and kataifa, Greek pastries, are ready for desert
There are also American dishes, with burgers, standard or curly French-fries, onion rings and chicken strips. Customers can order platters of the Greek main dishes, with larger portions of the meat, toppings and pita bread, or value meals of the Greek and American food that include fries or onion rings and a large drink, and children's plates.
Jim said they decorated the inside of the restaurant in blue and white in honor of Havre High School. The Havre High marquis is also on the property, right next to the restaurant's sign.
He said they started work on building the restaurant last April. Outside of contracting with Baltrusch Construction to pour the parking lot, their family and friends did all of the construction, Jim said.
George said that since he works a midnight shift with the railroad, he comes in to cover the evening shifts. He said his parents are pretty well in-and-out all day, making sure everything is working all right, running to the store if they need anything, and so on.
"It's a family affair," George said.
He said Brandell Zubatch covers the day shift, and is pretty well in charge until he can come in for the evening.
"I just work here," she said. "I helped build it - it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it."
George owned a Greek restaurant, The Pride of Athens, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, for six-and-a-half years before moving back to Havre in 1994. He said his family had been thinking about opening a restaurant in Havre for quite some time.
Jim said they already owned quite a bit of the equipment to do the Greek cooking, but "we had to buy quite a few, too," he said.
The Parthenon is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Call 265-9211 for more information or to place a call-in order.