Dine Out Couple open Salisbury Grill
By Robin M. Perry
For the Salisbury Post
George and Carrie Liapis have a lot to celebrate lately.
They recently bought the former Rick’s BBQ restaurant at 1617 S. Main St. and took three months to completely renovate and update the kitchen and dining areas, opened their new Salisbury Grill three weeks ago, and then on April 12 were thrilled with the birth of their first child, a son, George.
We happened to be at the grill when young George made his first visit to dad’s place along with mom, Carrie, and proud grandparents. The 4-day-old seemed quite content at his parent’s new place of business. George and Carrie are excited to start their own restaurant and family in Salisbury.
It is always fascinating to learn how folks get into the food service industry, and how, in particular, they find their way to Rowan County to open a business.
George’s story does not disappoint. He grew up in Australia, Tasmania to be exact. His parents are Greek and lived there until he was 25. They then all moved to Greece. Twelve years ago, George came to the United States to work with family in their restaurant endeavor — a chain of 25 fish camps throughout the Southeast.
He then worked with several family restaurants in the Charlotte area, where he met Carrie and they were married three years ago. Carrie is a Rowan County native and has worked in a variety of restaurants. They both wanted to have a business of their own, and came across this opportunity on South Main Street — the one with the red roof. After a significant investment of time, energy, resources and elbow grease, their dream came true. They make their home in Faith.
George enjoys cooking, using his varied experience and some of his Greek heritage to make fresh, homemade dishes in the right portions and right price. “You either love the restaurant business or hate it,” he says, “and I love it.” He loves being in Salisbury too. “The people here have been so responsive and friendly,” he said. “We’ve gotten lots of congratulations on the restaurant and the new baby,” he says, somewhat overwhelmed. They already have quite a few “regulars.”
The Salisbury Grill serves breakfast from 6 a.m. until 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday and lunch and dinner until 8 p.m. We got there for breakfast and were so glad we did.
The menu is full of choices for breakfast such as omelettes, pancakes, French toast, egg dishes and sandwiches. We thought we’d be adventurous and tried the Greek omelette. It is my new favorite type of omelette! Three eggs with Feta cheese, diced tomatoes and onions served with home fries or grits and toast or biscuit ($5.25) was delicious. You’ll want to try the home fries with breakfast too as they are becoming a favorite with many customers. George makes them fresh each day and they do taste great. He has specials that change daily for breakfast too such as: The $2.89 special — two eggs, sausage, grits or home fries and toast or biscuit; a ham and cheese or mushroom and cheese omelette with the choice of sides for $4.49 each or a pork chop, two eggs and choice of sides for $5.39.
The French toast ($3.95) was also melt in your mouth tasty with just the right amount of powdered sugar sprinkled on top. A chef’s special offers two pancakes and two eggs served with bacon or sausage for $4.95. He even has a children’s special of 2 pancakes with a slice of bacon or sausage patty and milk for $3.45.
The lunch and dinner menu has quite a variety of choices from salads to subs, pasta and seafood or items from the grill and signature plates.
Some of his Greek specialties have been popular, such as the gyros. A gyro is a pita sandwich filled with lamb or beef or chicken, onions tomatoes, lettuces and their special tzatziki sauce- a cucumber sauce ($5.89) The chicken souvlaki platter is also popular, an open faced gyro over rice with a Greek salad ($7.89).
The cheeseburger club has been a favorite with customers too, two cheeseburger patties (6 ounce fresh) with lettuce, tomato, mayo, bacon and fries for $5.99. The steak salad is a Greek salad topped with marinated beef strips ($8.45) and the flounder filet is hand breaded Canadian flounder, boneless and skinless, fried golden brown with hushpuppies and slaw and potato for $8.25
Lunch and dinner specials change each day and can include such items as the half barbecue chicken with two sides for $5.85; fried grouper with potato choice for $6.95; baked spaghetti with salad and bread for $6.29 and chicken tips over rice with onion, peppers and his special marinade with a choice of potato or vegetable for $6.95.
The homemade cornbread they serve has become a favorite with many too. Carrie makes the desserts — specialties including chocolate pie and mandarin orange cake.
George has decorated the grill with photos from Salisbury — past and present. He wants to keep with that theme and even has some photos of the place when it was Kay’s Diner years ago. He has added a map of his native Tasmania in the back dining area, just to have a little touch of his home there. The back area is available for private parties and groups.
The Salisbury Grill will have a grand opening celebration Thursday through Saturday, offering many specials. Some include hot dogs for 79 cents, the barbecue half chicken, and the Greek omelette at a discounted price among others. Every day he has free drinks for those in uniform.
In celebration of their new son, George, they are offering a kids-eat-free special Thursday through Saturday from 5-8 p.m.