Manos’ visionWritten by Edward Slack | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Manos Greek Restaurant at Adams and 14th streets has been a fixture in the Uptown area for 23 years. Owner Manos Paschalis came to America in 1980 from Athens, Greece, earned a degree from UT. He opened his restaurant in 1982 and became an American citizen in 1984. He recently discussed the opportunities and drawbacks to establishing a business Downtown.
Edward Slack: What is your take on the Uptown business district?
Manos Paschalis: It’s not just the Uptown district. The strategy should be to look at the city as a whole, and what can be done to increase the population.
ES: What is your customer base?
MS: Most come from these surroundings, and business professionals who come for lunch. We’ve been here a long time and have created a core group of customers who sustain our business.
ES: Are you encouraged by what you see in the retail picture?
MS: I am encouraged by the activity taking place. There are a lot of individual local investors Downtown trying to accomplish things, and if the city tries to market the Downtown area for investors to come and expand, then we’ll see more activity in retail. Uptown could be designated as an entertainment district, which will be driven by population growth. One of the ways to create business is to attract the transient customer. We should look at the possibility of a streetcar on Monroe Street going from Downtown to the Art Museum to facilitate more activity and growth in the area.
ES: What do you see as hindrances to revitalization?
MS: To build in an area that has been in distress for many years, and the Downtown has been in financial distress for many years, city officials can waive a lot of laws and relax a lot of regulations to help small-business people because it’s so expensive, so difficult for somebody to go into business. We can’t depend anymore on the big corporations or stores of the past to revitalize the city. It’s going to be done by the little guys with a few dollars in the bank, individual entrepreneurs who are willing to invest their time and money in the effort.