Even though The Parthenon has closed, the Greek restaurant’s famous flaming saganaki could live on next door. The menu’s still being finalized, but a new sports bar with an international edge, The Ambassador Public House, should open around mid-October inside The Parthenon’s former banquet room, one door north of the shuttered iconic restaurant at 310 S. Halsted St.
Lorraine Rieff-Liakouras, wife of The Parthenon’s co-owner, Chris Liakouras, is behind the project. She owns the building that houses the banquet room and The Parthenon Hostel. She stressed that this opening had nothing to do with The Parthenon’s closing. While they will televise sports from all around the world, she wants to be inclusive.
"We’re in America. We have our teams. We have our Bears. We have our Cubs. We have our hockey team (Blackhawks) and everything," she said. "It’s going to be international, but it’s not going to be slanted just one way. It’s not going to be just European soccer, it’s going to be all sports."
The new spot will have some Greektown flair, a nod to the space’s roots. That’s where the flaming saganaki—supposedly created decades ago at The Parthenon—comes in. Rieff-Liakouras wouldn’t promise that flaming cheese would appear on the menu, but there’s a good chance.
Earlier this year, Rieff-Liakouras attempted to open a restaurant, Aviva, in that space. But things never jelled and the restaurant quickly closed. She’s more confident in this project.
"I think it’s going to do quite well," Rief-Liakouras said. "We’ll be a little bit different from most sports bars that are out there."