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Greeks bearing gifts! All month, it’s ‘pay what you wish’ at W’burg eatery

The Brooklyn Paper
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Talk about a Greek bailout!

Starting on Nov. 4, the spirit of Occupy Wall Street will come to Santorini Grill, a Mediterranean eatery in Williamsburg that will roll out a month-long “pay what you wish” deal that offers “99 percenters” a chance to enjoy a fancy meal tailored to their particular budgetary constraints.

The Grand Street restaurant will have no listed prices, and diners will be encouraged to order whatever they want — and pay what they think it’s worth.

Good deal? Sure, but don’t leave your wallet at home.

“A lot of my customers lost their jobs in this economy,” said owner Paula Dourales, who cooks all the food from scratch each morning. “Greece needs help. The United States needs help, the whole world needs help. I need help, my customers who can’t afford to eat at restaurants need help. I thought, if I do this, we can help each other.”

For Dourales, the scheme could be a “win-win”: it’s a reward for loyal customers, a big draw for newcomers, and a bailout for the less-fortunate.

It’s just crazy enough to work.

“People will come out of curiosity, and if people don’t abuse it and it works, I won’t stop it,” Dourales said. “This neighborhood hasn’t shown me anything but goodness.”

The menu includes Greek staples such as grape leaves, babaganush and souvlaki, as well as fusion fare like Greek burgers (with tomato and feta), though Dourales is removing dishes with lamb, octopus, fish and shrimp due to cost, and replacing them with spaghetti with meat sauce, and a broiled chicken dish.

If the whole thing’s a disaster, Dourales will chock it up to an experiment she had been dying to try.

“If I lose my shirt,” she said. “I’ll buy another shirt.”

At least one regular says he’ll do his part to allow Dourales to retain her duds.

“See you on Nov. 4,” he said after greeting Dourales with a kiss on the cheek. “But I’m paying full-price!”

Santorini Grill [167 Grand St. between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street in Williamsburg, (718) 388-3668]. Deal begins at 5 pm on Nov. 4.

Reach Arts Editor Juliet Linderman at jlinderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8309.
Updated 5:27 pm, July 9, 2018
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