Jan. 6—POTTSVILLE — Wheel, a popular downtown restaurant, is closing and will be replaced by a new restaurant at the same location, owner Savas Logothetides announced Thursday.
"We're transitioning to a new concept," Logothetides said during an interview at the restaurant.
Opened six years ago at the corner of West Market and Second streets, Wheel's last day will be Jan. 16.
The target date for opening the new restaurant, TRES, is Jan. 30.
The TRES concept can be best described as "tacos, tapas and tequila," said Logothetides, 39, a third generation Pottsville restaurant owner; tres means three in Spanish.
The decision to close Wheel, whose menu was built on cheese based sandwiches, came despite its success, he said.
"It's been a tremendous 6 1/2 years," Logothetides insisted. "I couldn't have dreamt the success we've had."
He's really happy about its success, but said in the restaurant industry it's important to know when it's time to pivot and move on.
Closing Wheel was basically a business decision, he said, driven in part by supply chain issues, a labor shortage and the rising cost of goods.
"There's a lot that goes into running an 85 ingredient build-your-own grilled cheese restaurant," he said. "With TRES, I'm bringing a simpler concept, but at the same time, it's a fun concept and a contemporary concept."
The new menu will involve 20 to 25 tacos, 10 to 15 tapas items and a very extensive tequila drink menu, he said.
The TRES menu will include Korean barbecue, chicken bacon ranch and traditional carnitas Mexican tacos.
Logothetides said Wheel in Tamaqua will not be affected by the change.
Logothetides was running a chain of Ruby Tuesday restaurants in Pennsylvania and New Jersey when he left the corporate world in 2016.
He opened Wheel in the same building where his grandfather, Sava Logothetides, had run The Famous Restaurant and his father, George Logothetides, ran The Famous tavern.
The next year, 2017, he opened the Crimson House, a tapas restaurant on North Centre Street. He sold it a year later.
Logothetides also has interests in real estate and serves as executive director of the Pottsville Area Development Corp., whose mission is to promote economic development in downtown Pottsville.
The concept of TRES is based on similar restaurants in Nashville and King of Prussia, which Logothetides found appealing.
"We designed the branding in August, started designing the menu in fall and really went forward with it in October and November," he said.
The layout of the new restaurant will be similar to the old, but with new furniture, paint schemes and branding. The bar area will be a little bigger.
No reductions in staff are planned, he said, and it's likely there will be some new hires.
"The restaurant industry is changing, and you need fresh concepts," he said. "Your menu always needs to be evolving."
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