Kanella's original space at 10th and Spruce Streets - vacant for more than a year after chef/owner Konstantinos Pitsillides moved his Cypriot fare to plusher quarters in Queen Village - will be reopening as a more casual iteration.
He and wife Caroline Christian are calling it Kanella Grill, and it will be a kebab house when it comes back in July. It will be BYOB, as was the previous restaurant.
"Very simple, traditional, with homemade gyro," Christian told me. They will serve Cyprus-style pita, and are trying to source gluten-free pita, as well.
Sous chef Dominic Santora will head Kanella Grill's kitchen, and Kanella/Vetri alum Michael Dejoseph will handle the front of the house.
When Pitsillides closed Kanella in May 2015, he had considered a kebab-house concept as he also tried to lease the storefront, in a prime spot in Washington Square West. Why wait so long to reopen? "Confusion and madness," Christian said with a laugh.
From its opening in Wash West in early 2008, Kanella racked up plenty of distinctions, including a rave "$1 million review" last year from English critic Giles Coren, who described Pitsillides as "a shine-headed, nut-brown, heavily-built hunk of Cypriot man, with forearms like legs of mutton and a blue-eyed stare that could freeze nitrogen."
The news, posted as a note on the Kanella window, was first noted earlier Saturday on Billy Penn.