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Balos Estiatorio To Replace Besito In West Hartford

Besito departed suddenly from West Hartford’s Blue Back Square in July 2017, but the stylish Mexican restaurant’s space will soon evoke images of the Greek Islands.

George Chatzopoulos and Odysseus Rethis have partnered to open Balos Estiatorio, an upscale Greek restaurant, at 46 S. Main St. later this year. They hope to open Balos by September, Rethis says.

Chatzopoulos is the owner of the Chip’s Family Restaurant local chain, with locations in Fairfield, Orange, Southbury, Southington, Trumbull and Wethersfield, and he also operates two The Simple Greek fast-casual franchises in Glastonbury and West Hartford. Rethis formerly owned Archetype, a clothing boutique in New Haven.

“It’s a beautiful space, a beautiful location,” says Rethis, who frequented Besito as a patron, but noted that Balos will not look anything like its predecessor. “It’s going to feel like you’re in Greece, on kind of a sophisticated terrace near the ocean. Hopefully we can pull that off.”

Balos is named for a beach on the coast of Crete, Greece’s largest island, Rethis says, describing the restaurant’s style as “elegant-rustic” and its planned menu, with small plates and larger entrees, as “upscale but playful.”

“It will be very seafood-driven, but all of the dishes that you’re aware of, that are synonymous with Greek food, will be represented there,” he says. “The basis of the menu will be Greek traditional food, authentic if you will, but there will be takes on Greek food as well. There is some allowance in the menu for something a little different.”

Balos will also display its fresh fish for diners to see, keeping with tradition. “It’s customary in Greece to look at the fish before you order it, because they’re sticklers for the quality,” Rethis says.

Pricing will be comparable to other restaurants in West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square, Rethis says, and Balos will offer a full bar, with a “good representation” of Greek wines.

“The restaurant’s going to make a statement,” he says. “It’s going to take you out of West Hartford.”

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