Antonis Anapliotis owner of Aigialos Restaurant in Santorini17-02-2015 14:14Mr Antonis, tell us a little bit about your business.
Well, Aegialos Restaurant opened in 2000. When we first came here, the beach of Exo Gialos was completely deserted, sloppy full of seaweed and tar. I decided to clean it up before making my business here. In the beggining I started a canteen. Then I brought some sun umbrellas for those who would come for swimming. I used to serve the basics back then: some refreshments, water, beer, souvlaki, ice creams. Then people started asking for something to eat along with "ouzo", so I began to think how i could evolve the business and my services in general. The first dishes served were garlic cod, oil cheese, shellfish and some more.
Being on an "isolated" spot far from commercial centers, the "ranks" of Santorini, has some difficulties, hasn't it?
Definitely! We may take advantage of the fact we are totally alone and we can organise various events and parties, but at the same time we face many difficulties. We have to clean the whole area alone, there is no bus service, we are responsible for the safety... we deal with such things. If you own a business in an organised beach, you have to do a couple of things at the beginning of the season, but if you work in Exo Gonia, you have to do ten times more!
Since we're talking about the region of Exo Gialos, tell us a few things, so that tourists can learn about it.
Exo Gialos is only 2,5-3 km away from the popular capital of Fira. It's in fact the unknown beach of Fira. You need 20' on foot to come, but if you have a car, it only takes 5 minutes. There are signs showing the spot, but most use the Google Maps to find us.
Now tell us about Aegialos cuisine. Which are the characteristics of your dishes?
Our cuisine is based on simple, traditional recipes. We keep on cooking the way our grandmothers did. We use plain fresh materials to prepare home made meals, like the Santorinian fava and tomato balls. From the little port over there and the local fishermen we provide our kitchen with fresh fish, octopus, seafood, shellfish, lobsters and similar.
You did mention that you undertake event planning. What kind of services do you offer?
Well, I chose to decorate the space with simple Cycladic elements. I wanted Aigialos to be what it's name declares, a place right by the sea, with traditional and plain objects. It seems that people loved that and started asking if they could use the area for their ceremonies and parties. Just because the spot is isolated and we don't disturb anyone, we began to organize some very successful events and parties. Now we have come to a point that we book one year earlier.
I heard a lot about these parties. Everyone on the island speaks about them!
Three years ago we arranged to make a party and it was a great surprise when 800 people came! From then, we learnt a lot and I dare to say that now I'm good at it! I bring the necessary equipment (speakers, lights etc) from Athens in a container. I also invite famous DJs, both locals and from abroad, to open the party. Tourists seem to enjoy these parties a lot, considering that we reach 1500-2000 people at each one!
I was shocked in the beginning when people came and said how pleased they were, how much fun they had, that they loved the food in Aegialos... Actually, I started to believe that we were good enough when old people came. These are the most demanding customers. Because they do know the secrets of tasteful Santorinian cuisine and they would leave satisfied.
How much does it cost to eat in Aegialos tavern? Which is the price per person, without the wine to be included?
An average value is about 25 euros. With that amount of money, one enjoys a rich meal that includes local appetizers and delicacies, everything one has to taste when he visits Santorini island.
You own the umbrellas down on the beach, right. What else do you offer to those who come in Exo Gialos for swimming?
Yes, we own the umbrellas and the sun beds. We serve champagne and delicious cocktails. In August, you need to make a reservation if you wish to relax on the private sun beds over there. For the last three years, we've been on top of comments in tripadvisor, which I think it's why we have so many people here. They read about us, about our services, our delicious food and good prices and tourists who travel in Santorini, are definitely look for us.
So we're looking forward to seeing you all here, at this magnificent destination...
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