Meet Nicholas Pagonis: General Manager and Co-Owner of Paros NYC

Nicholas and George Pagonis of Paros NYC
Nicholas and George Pagonis of Paros NYC. Photo Credit: Paros NYC

Nicholas Pagonis, the General Manager and co-owner of Paros NYC, spoke with #Powerjournalist Markos Papadatos about his latest endeavors.

“My parents are both from Sparta,” Nicholas said about his Greek lineage. “My mother came to North America at a young age,” he said. “My father stayed and did the military, and then he came over to the United States.”

“We have a Spartan background but when were little kids, one of my father’s brothers settled in Paros, and because of that, he built property there, and we’ve been going there for over 30 years now,” he elaborated.

I pretty much grew up going there every summer, and I saw the growth of the island every year,” Nicholas expressed.

The restaurant opened back in October of 2023. He co-owns Paros NYC with his brother, George Pagonis, who is also the executive chef. Paros brings a modern approach to the Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.

Nicholas noted that he and George “get along very nicely” and that they are close in age. “We have a good bond and that’s something you can trust, which is key,” he said.

He also opened up about the idea to open a Greek eatery in Tribeca. “George and I had a restaurant group in Washington, DC, and we came up to New York and opened a bunch of restaurants for another restaurant group. We decided to do it again, and we wanted to do Tribeca because it didn’t have any Greek restaurants there,” Nicholas said.

Nicholas revealed that his personal favorite dishes at the restaurant include Lamb Chops, the Fagri, as well as the Portokalopita and hand-cut fries.

On his career-defining moments, Nicholas shared that opening his first restaurant at the age of 29 helped him mature very quickly, and he kept on going from there.

“The restaurant business taught me to be strong, honest, and humble,” he said.

“Hard work always pays off if you are willing to work hard, you can do anything. I say that to a lot of the staff as well. If we all put in the effort together, we can progress together,” Nicholas explained.

For anybody that wants to go into the restaurant and hospitality business, Nicholas underscored that one needs to be willing to put in the hours.

“If you don’t want to put in the hours and if you don’t want to do the work, then don’t do it,” he suggested.

In December of 2023, global music star Taylor Swift dined at Paros NYC, and the news went viral, which was covered in such major outlets as People Magazine and Vogue. “It was nice to have Taylor dine here. Taylor is probably the biggest celebrity right now in the world. It was great to have her in and we hope to see her again soon,” he said.

For Nicholas, success is contentment in what you are doing. “If you’re not happy with what you are doing, then you are not successful,” he said.

For Paros NYC patrons, he expressed his gratitude. “Everyone has been super receptive here in Tribeca, people are happy for us to be here, and we are very happy to be here. It feels like a Cinderella story where the shoe fits; everything is going good so far,” Nicholas concluded.

To learn more about Paros NYC, check out its official homepage, and follow the Greek restaurant on Instagram.