The Yiros Shop has a simple goal: “To teach everyone in Brisbane what yiros is.”
Nicholas James owns a trio of stores, the third of which opened quietly on Thursday on Grey Street in South Brisbane. A traditional Greek food, yiros are thick and fluffy pitas scorched on the grill, served with your choice of meat, tomato, red onion, parsley, tzatziki and hot chips. James laughs but is adamant: “They’re not kebabs.”
James’ journey to opening The Yiros Shop started during his childhood. “[My family] owned fish-and-chips shops,” he says. “I always helped out when I was really young, so it’s always been in my blood.” During a stint working in Sydney he found himself driving half an hour to eat yiros at his favourite spot – “Every time I’d eat two, because I was so happy to get there!” – so when he returned to Brisbane he had his business idea.
The menu at the new South Brisbane shop is consistent with James’ Cannon Hill and James Street outlets: chicken, pork, lamb or haloumi yiros as a wrap or plate, a bunch of options – calamari, salads, chips or dips – for sides, and then loukomades (a Greek doughnut) or baklava for dessert.
The look of the shop is typical of James’ other outlets; tiles and glass with patterns of white, blue and turquoise. But it is slanted slightly more towards grab and go – most of the eatery’s 50 seats are outside on the footpath.
James already has plans for more stores. There was also a free yiros day on Saturday that resulted in lines stretching down the block. “I think maybe five shops will be enough for me, then I’ll chill out. It just feels natural that I keep going,” James says, “I really, really like yiros.”