Easter in Astoria is alive and well, Greek stores are doing booming business

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ASTORIA — Pascha in the New York metro area will be spiritually and socially uplifting this year as many Greek-Americans and their friends and relatives proclaim “Christos Anesti” and share their love in person for the first time since 2019. Doing their part this year — as they heroically did in the first two years of the pandemic — it’s the shops and restaurants of the Community, especially in Astoria.

Giannis Stratigakis, owner of the International Meat Market, told the National Herald that “business ahead of Easter has been good so far. The public buys, as usual, the well-known products: lamb, goat, kokoretsi and sausages. Unfortunately, the prices are more expensive than last year. The lamb we offer ranges from $12.99 to $13.99 per pound, depending on size.

Greeks and non-Greeks flock to Astoria to prepare for Easter and take a break at Mikel Coffee, left to right: Despina Delkou, George Monogioudis, Jeanellie Lanzie, Eleni Pappa and Dimitris Petridis. Photo: TNH/ Christodoulos Athanasatos

At Mediterranean Foods, Vasilis Tentolouris also said business was booming. “The world is in a much better place” regarding the pandemic, “than the last two years. People are feeling better, they are shopping and there is no shortage of products. Prices have gone up not because of the products, but because of the shipping ribs, increases of 20-30% Anyway, they buy everything in anticipation of Easter – the eggs to paint red, the cheese pies, the spinach pies and all the cheeses for the He concluded by wishing “Chronia polla”, good health and a happy Easter to all – and thank you to the Greek community for supporting the Mediterranean.

Dimitris Petridis, owner of Gyro World and the new Mikel Coffee in Astoria, pointed out that for “the first Easter after the pandemic, with more relaxed people, we will finally celebrate again with relatives and friends.

“Life has started again – the world is breaking free. We see tourists, because the airports have opened, and we are doing very well – every day things are getting better and better. We have many orders for Easter pick up. We wish the world peace and health above all.

People focused on preparing meals for their families and guests, and also shopped at places like New Bakaliko in Hicksville, NY, and Giannis Gatzonis’ Akropolis meat market in Astoria.

At the Astoria International Meat Market, shoppers select prime cuts of meat, especially lamb, for the Easter feast. Photo: TNH/ Christodoulos Athanasatos

For some dinner is just an excuse for dessert, for others dessert is the crowning glory of a meal. Giannis Arvanitis of the famous Omonia Café in Astoria told TNH: “American Easter was very good. For the Greek Passover, it’s early. People usually shop on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday during Holy Week. We’ve had a slight increase in business so far, but we’ll see them all in the last four days. People buy cookies, tsourekia – Easter bread – lots of tsourekia and Easter eggs. The prices are a bit high, as everything has gone up, the price of eggs and butter has gone up, but we are keeping the prices low so people can shop. ‘Chronia polla’ to the Hellenes all over the world. I wish everyone a happy Easter and may God be with us.

For more ready-made desserts, there’s also the delicious Pi Bakerie co-owned by Anthi Aggelou in Manhattan’s Soho, the delicious Elite Patisseries in Bayside, and the famous Lefkos Pyrgos in Astoria, where guests will be welcomed and will wish chronia polla by owner Julie Pantazis. Panagiotis Peikidis will be equally welcoming at Café Boulis in Astoria.

And for those festive meals away from home, guests will be welcomed with open arms by Giorgos Tsampas at King Souvlaki in Astoria, Christos Christou at Yefsi Estiatorio in Manhattan, Dimitris Karousis at Nick’s Lobster House on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, Anna Kommatas at Bahari in Astoria, Bessy Arvanitis at Anemos Estiatorio in Manalapan, NJ, Margarita Dimou at BZ Grill in Astoria, Stavros Kokkosis at Sayville Aegean Cafe, Billy Kokoronis at Tzatziki Greek Grill in New Rochelle, NY, Zoi Liakopoulos at Greco Boston, Giannis Apostolopoulos at El Dorado – and all of the owners and managers of all of our wonderful restaurants, cafes and lounges.

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