March 4, 2010

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Tedy J’s is a family endeavor
New restaurant arrives in Joe Kelly’s old spot

By Linda A. Thompson-Odum food@hippopress.com

Savas Bahtsevanos has owned restaurants since he was 24 years old. After an eight-year break, he decided he had one more restaurant left in him. He purchased Joe Kelly’s on Elm Street in Manchester and changed it to Tedy J’s M City Grille, and he brought on board his two sons, Ted (T.J.) and Alex, to make it a family operation.

“The price was right, and the restaurant was in the heart of downtown,” Bahtsevanos said. “It was an opportunity I couldn’t let it get away.”

Bahtsevanos’s beginning in the restaurant world is a common tale, starting as a dishwasher when he was 14 years old at the old Merrimack restaurant. His first place was Kirk’s Restaurant on Brown Ave. from the mid-1980s to the 1990s. He then owned Bahtsevanos Atlantic Steakhouse until 2002. After that he worked at various jobs while he focused on spending time with his family.

The restaurant urge hit Bahtsevanos again not long after Ted graduated from the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business. It was a struggle for Ted to find work in the recession-driven economy, so he joined in on the new endeavor. And younger brother Alex is in his second year at UNH as a restaurant management major, so having him come on board part time completed the picture.

“Trying to achieve a sense of balance in any relationship, be it business or personal, is what you strive for. My experience with my sons’ drive and energy are the perfect balance for making this restaurant work,” Bahtsevanos said.

The name Tedy J’s comes from the Greek tradition of naming the first born after the grandfather. In this case, it’s not only Bahtevanos’s father but also his son who carry the name.

Ted gravitates toward the front of the house, where he greets guests, makes sure everyone is happy, and manages the wait staff. Alex is more attuned to the kitchen, where he likes to develop his skills by watching his dad prepare some of the signature dishes. All three of the Bahtevanos men cook in the kitchen at one time or another.

With this restaurant, the father and sons want to offer an alternative to the upscale restaurants in the downtown area. They describe it as casual American — a long bar with plenty of seats, and a menu of casual and home-style favorites.

Much of the menu is a hold-over from the Joe Kelly’s selections — the recipes came with the purchase of the restaurant. That includes the hand-tossed pizzas and the popular steak and cheese sub. Newer menu additions that are a hit with customers are the Greek souvlaki pocket sandwich, made with broiled chunks of marinated meat topped with lettuce, tomato and Greek dressing. Also popular are the broiled lamb tips and sirloin steak tips dinners, as well as the baked haddock casserole. All the dinners are served with a choice of French fries or rice pilaf.

The Bahtevanos want Tedy J’s to be a place where families will stop in for lunch or dinner, or people come in after work for a drink, or later in the evening to meet with friends. Plans are in the works to create special theme nights, such as karaoke night.

Bahtevanos is happy to be back in the Manchester restaurant scene. “It’s gratifying when you’re in constant contact with the customers and you get the satisfaction of serving a good meal. Pleasing the customers with delicious food at a great price,” he said. To which Ted added, “I live for compliments. If customers leave here with a smile on their face and a full belly, I’m happy.”


Tedy J’s M City Grille
866 Elm St., Manchester, 622-6400
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Delivery is free with a $10 minimum purchase.


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12/24/2009 Feast your way into the New Year
12/17/2009 Foodie gifts for 2009
12/10/2009 Microbrew heaven in the east
12/3/2009 Key ingredient: New Hampshire wine
11/26/2009 Enjoy south Indian cuisine in Nashua
11/19/2009 Barbecue all year
11/12/2009 Ciao Italia at Cotton
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10/15/2009 A sweet little spot in the Capital City
10/8/2009 30 restaurants, one stop
10/1/2009 T-Bones: 22 new dishes for 25 years
9/24/2009 Sausage seller settles in
9/17/2009 Glendi means good times
9/10/2009 Sunny Side Up in Concord
9/3/2009 The night of 26 restaurants
8/27/2009 Milltowne at the airport
8/20/2009 Feast Day for all
8/13/2009 Beyond tacos
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7/30/2009 And the sippin is easy ...
7/23/2009 South of the border west of the river
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7/9/2009 Today Pittsfiled, tomorrow the world
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6/11/2009 Newly minted
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5/14/2009 Gyro, pastichio or spanakopeta?
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4/30/2009 A Taste of old favorites, new dishes
4/23/2009 A week of eats in Manchester
4/16/2009 So happy together
4/9/2009 After candy, brunch and diner
4/2/2009 All made right here
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3/19/2009 Five-course trip to Lebanon
3/12/2009 Irish meals
3/5/2009 Get a peice of the farm
2/26/2009 Before late night eats,an evening at the pub
2/19/2009 Drinks with Dan Akroyd
2/12/2009 Crooked Birch branches out
2/5/2009 Dinner with your sweetheart
1/29/2009 Food for the 50-yard line
1/22/2009 Artisan bread at The Good Loaf
1/15/2009 "Fold, mush, turn"
1/8/2009 Once upon a time at a bistro...
1/1/2009 Zacky's to go
12/25/2008 2008 in small bites
12/18/2008 Manchestert brewing opens in Concord
12/11/2008 Delicious gifts for the foodie
12/4/2008 New chef at UnWine'd
11/27/2008 Corks pops at BVI
11/20/2008 Big plates, big food
11/13/2008 IPA first prize
11/6/2008 You want it? He'll bring it.
10/30/2008 Cooking up a mystery
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10/16/2008 Like grandma made it
10/9/2008 The flavor of Concord
10/2/2008 Indie donuts rising
9/25/2008 Buy a bowl, feed the hungry
9/18/2008 Oktoberfest — for a cause
9/11/2008 A slice ofGreece, Asia, France...
9/4/2008 Flavors of Manchester
8/28/2008 D.I.Y. sausage
8/21/2008 Summertime and the living is chilli
8/14/2008 Weekend of festivals
8/7/2008 Going for pizza gold
7/31/2008 Red and juicy, from vine to table
7/24/2008 Meet the Manch-vegans
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7/10/2008 Pupusas, cervesa y batidos
7/03/2008 3C's Cafe opens in Highlander Inn
6/26/2008 Oh, tartar sauce!
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6/12/2008 450 pounds of lamb
6/5/2008 Travel the culinary world at BVI
5/29/2008 Chocolate throwdown
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5/15/2008 Local, gluten-free and ready made
5/8/2008 The return of brownies and pasta
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4/24/2008 Noshing and shopping
4/17/2008 Celebrating with Greek eats
4/10/2008 Drive-ins open for the season
4/3/2008 Noshing for a cause
3/20/2008 The Easter Bunny brings dinner
3/13/2008 The Irish Spirit
3/6/2008 The sweet season
2/28/2008 Cambodian (or Italian) made easy
2/21/2008 Fresh fish comes to Nashua
2/14/2008 Hearts and fibers
2/7/2008 A romantic dinner for two
1/31/2008 Celebrate Mardi Gras
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1/17/2008 The chef is inn
1/10/2008 Italian street food in NH
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11/1/2007 Bringing Italia to New Hampshire
10/25/2007 Trick or treat, the grown-up version
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10/04/2007 Tradition on the menu
9/27/2007 Meet your pig
9/20/2007 In search of the right meat
9/20/2007 Vegan blogger branches out
9/13/2007 Get ready to eat
9/6/2007 Fifty years of fair
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8/23/2007 Enjoy the Caribbean, sans hurricanes
8/16/2007 Festival weekend
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8/2/2007 Perfecting a pound of pasta
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7/12/2007 Reintroducing ratatouille
7/5/2007 Time to hit the grill
6/28/2007 Peanutty dinner delight
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6/07/2007 A wine for Red Sox
5/31/2007 Pinot noir romance
5/24/2007 Josh Logan eats (not before shows)
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5/10/2007 Cremeland celebrates 60 years of burgers and shakes
5/3/2007 New eats in bloom
4/26/2007 Pho sure
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4/5/2007 More than just a chocolate bunny
3/29/2007 New 'nuches
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3/1/2007 Feeding Mama Kicks
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2/1/2007 Super platters for the Super Bowl
1/25/2007 It's a wrap
1/18/2007 The writing foodie
1/11/2007 Where the beef is, piled high and hot
1/04/2007 The healthy foodie
12/28/2006 The return of pasta and fall of the diet: the year in eats
12/21/2006 Organic on the ice
12/14/2006 French but not fussy
12/07/2006 Southeast U.S. culture, in sandwich form
11/30/2006 Bites of comfort with chips of happiness
11/23/2006 Cityside adds class to conveniece
11/16/2006 Easier-to-enjoy Thanksgiving feasts
11/9/2006 The new classic
10/26/2006 Whip up a quiche
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03/16/2006 Divining your personality from pizza
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03/02/2006 Dumplings demystified
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2/09/2006 Biting into the burger with bling
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01/26/2006 Goodbye rooster, hello year of the dog
01/19/2006 The secret lives of chefs
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01/05/2006 A sunny Italian side dish
A year of eats

All-you-can-read guide to breakfast
A bagel by any other l
abel
A picnic ó itís romance with ants
A sweet burst of summer, in stages
Beef, It's What's For Dinner, Lunch, And Dessert
Be it ever so humble, the burger rules
Blockbuster snacks for your movie
Box Of Chocolates
C Is For Cookie And Christmas And Cool Combo
Celebrating A Holiday For The Rest Of Us
Celebrate Easter In A Sugar Coma
Chat And Chew

Chinese soup is magic
Chocolate cake makes everything better
Chocolate, Part II
Competition flows like chocolate
Corn Flake Chicken, Honeycomb Salad
Dining at the "Your House Bistro"
Don't Dread The Bread
Dress Up Your Next Meal
Drinking Out Of The Box
Eating Your Way Back To Health
Empanadas
Enter Soup
Experiments With Very Bad Brownies
Feeding A Crowd The Morning After
Follow the cider house rules
Fresh Herbs
Go ahead ó run silent, run deep
Goodbye corn syrup, hello organic oatmeal
Go Indian for Thanksgiving
Grilled Cheese Junkie

Halloween candy for grown-ups
Have a Happy Meal and a happier wallet
Holiday Cookies - The Easy Way
Holiday Potluck 101-Tips For The Kitchen Novice
Home-Based Date
How do you like them apples?
In-A-Pinch Love Feast
It's not easy to be cheesy
Itís not Christmas without tamales
Lest We Forget The Humble Squash
Keeping your cool while you eat
Living through your salad days

Looking Beyond The Hot Dog Stand
Lunching your way to a less toxic you
Meat's meat and a man's gotta eat

Moist and delicious chicken ó no, really
Oatmeal Cookies, The Miracle Cure
Oscar Night, When The Stars Come Out To Eat

Offering Up A Slice Of Teriyaki Pie
Pot Pies Are Darn Tasty
Pumpkin-Flavored Treats
Small Plates Are The Next Big Thing
Speedy 'za not pie in the sky
Steak: itís whatís for dinner, again
Summer coolers, just add sunlight
Summer Squash
Super Bowl Grub
Take A Walk On The Dark Side
Taste of Manchester Event
The Cosmopolitan
The joys of a simple oatmeal breakfast
The return of comfort food
The One-Note Cook Book
The New American Plate Cookbook
The Stickiest, Hottest & Sweetest Of Love's Labors
The taste of retro
The Unheralded Peanut Butter Cookies
The union of sweet and heat
The Weekly Dish (12-16-04)
The Weekly Dish (12-23-04)

The Weekly Dish [1-13-05]
There's a Barbecue Bonanza Next Door
Week Four: Adding Diet To The Mix
What Was Hot And Haute In 2004
When $$ trumps urge to dine out
When in doubt, go for the organic
When nothing else will cool, Slurp it
You Say Potato, She'll Say Potato,Too
You say tomato, writer says lunch