Veano’s Italian Kitchen returns
A Georgopolous brother re-opens Concord institution
By Linda A. Thompson-Odum firstname.lastname@example.org
Concord celebrated the return of Veano’s Italian Kitchen just before Christmas. An area institution for more than 30 years, the restaurant closed in 2007 when the four Georgopoulos brothers sold the Loudon Road location to Walgreen’s. Three of the four brothers moved on to other things, but Billy Georgopoulos knew he wanted to bring the restaurant back.
“Two of my brothers retired and one might open another restaurant. He isn’t sure. I decided to keep the name and start the restaurant again. I’m only 55 years old, and I have at least 10 years left to work. Then I’ll leave it for my kids. My son wants to be in the restaurant business. He works here and can do it when I retire,” Billy Georgopoulos said.
Customers of the old restaurant will recognize a lot in the new one on Sheep Davis Road in Pembroke, next to The Meat House. The dessert case near the hostess station is the same one as before, and so are the booths and tables. Many of the waitstaff and kitchen staff are the same, including one cook who has been with Georgopoulos for 32 years, and his two daughters who work in the front of the house. And while there are new appliances and fixtures in the kitchen, Georgopoulos kept the ovens from the old restaurant: “They cook the pizza the way I like it,” he said.
Another aspect of the new restaurant that hasn’t changed much from the old one is the menu. Most of the items stayed the same, such as the popular parmesan dishes — veal cutlet, boneless breast of chicken, eggplant, and baked manicotti parmesans. Also back are the thin-crust pizzas and the 12-inch subs made on fresh-baked bread, including the parmesan subs in chicken, veal, meatball, sweet sausage and eggplant varieties. And the dessert case still contains classics such as carrot and chocolate cakes, pies and tiramisu. New items include chicken Alfredo and some salads.
“I make my own pizza sauce. And the spaghetti sauce I make myself. It’s all homemade, and the customers know what they are getting here,” Georgopoulos said.
Georgopoulos loves to cook, a skill he comes by naturally.
“My mother was a good cook. She had 11 kids. My father was a butcher in Greece and I always helped him. I came here and my brothers started the business, so I work with them,” he said.
As with the old location, this new Veano’s is a busy place. The restaurant, which is not as big as the old one, seats about 90 people. On the weekends people line up out the door to wait for a seat. Even on a regular weekday afternoon there are quite a few customers. This summer will bring the addition of an outdoor patio that will seat 40 people.
“Everybody missed this place,” Georgopoulos said. “I like to see the customers and I like to cook. I had a lot of these customers for a long time. It makes me feel good when people say the food is the same.”