El Greco Carbondale was originally started in 1973 by Anastasios Karayiannis. It has been a Carbondale landmark ever since. Many Southern Illinois locals and SIUC alumni have come to rely upon El Grecos for our Classic Gyro and Fried Mushrooms, along with our secret recipe Special Sauce (don’t call it tzatziki, cuz it ain’t) for as long as they can remember. Often times, many also vaguely recalled John Miller and John Clyde, two long-time fixtures that had been serving up gyros here for decades (legend has it that the building was built up around them…)
Now, two Carbondale natives, long-time friends Ethen and Winslow, have taken up the challenge to continue the tradition and add their chapter to its lore. After a brief closure starting in February 2013, EL GRECOS was reopened on March 18th in the same location, with the exact same ingredients and recipes, along with many of the same employees.
Without skipping a beat, a huge sigh of relief could actually be heard throughout Southern Illinois and the Carbondale community as everyone returned to find their favorite comfort foods unchanged. Something was different though…
Faster, friendlier, and cleaner… The new ownership conscientiously left all the food the same while working on improving the basics of restaurant operations and adding a customer-first mantra.
We have now reached our 45th anniversary year. From our restaurant family to yours, we wish to thank everyone for helping us make it this long. It was sketchy there for a few months, however since the reopening, we have been up to the task and are ready to serve Carbondale and Southern Illinois for another 40 years. Thank you for making us a part of your lives and memories.