The Flame Traditional Greek Grill one step closer to opening in DeKalb

New Greek restaurant in downtown DeKalb receives liquor license from city

The Flame Traditional Greek Grill is seen Oct. 27, 2023 in downtown DeKalb.

DeKALB – A new Greek restaurant in downtown DeKalb is one step closer to opening.

The DeKalb City Council recently backed a request by the owner for a full-restaurant liquor license to service the new Greek restaurant planned for 209 E. Lincoln Highway. The space formerly houses Middle Eastern restaurant Jamrah, which was the Sycamore-based eatery’s second location. Jamrah DeKalb closed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The space is now nearly set to reopen under new patronage. The 209 E. Lincoln Highway building is owned by Pappas Development, dubbed Plaza DeKalb. The building has apartments on the top floor and retail on the ground level.

“It looks like we’re going to get a new restaurant in downtown, and we’re excited about it,” City Manager Bill Nicklas said. “This is a project that’s moving along pretty quickly. [It’s] not surprising with Pappas’ investments. We’re pleased about that.”

Owner Foti Pappas said he’s excited about his plans to open the Greek restaurant. John Pappas of Pappas Development has a background in the restaurant industry.

“We’re really very much looking forward to opening this up,” Pappas said. “I did grow up a little bit in the restaurant business, but this is the first time I get to showcase a lot of home cooked meals that we’ve grown up on and get to bring them to this county at a fair cost, allow families to be able to pile in, eat good food, have good cocktails, take a space that’s been vacant for some time and bring another twist to food to the downtown area.”

Foti is John Pappas’ son. Pappas remained mum about a specific opening date, only saying that the restaurant is expected to open soon.

Pappas said he’s looking forward to The Flame joining the downtown business scene.

“The downtown area now has a lot of different varieties of food, which is amazing and, I think, it slowly brings DeKalb to a destination point downtown,” he said. “I’m excited about it. I’m hoping the town loves and supports it. We’re going full speed on the menu [and] on the construction.”

Mayor Cohen Barnes heaped praise on Pappas for his investment in the city.

“You’ve got some big shoes to fill,” Barnes said. “Your father has created more successful restaurants than I can count.”

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