One and a half years after much ballyhooed, short-lived American Cut & Grill in Englewood Cliffs shut its doors, Fort Lee resident Stavros Aktipis plans to replace it with modern Greek restaurant Lefkes.
Aktipis is the founder and owner of Kellari Hospitality Group, which owns seven restaurants including the popular Upper West Side Italian spot ‘Cesca and midtown Greek restaurant Kellari.
According to spokesperson Angela Thomas, Lefkes is set to open at the end of August, after some “modifications” take place. “Aketipis wants to lighten the space up,” Thomas said. The two-story space will include a Raw Bar Lounge on the second floor, an outdoor patio with a fire pit and private rooms for events. Lefkes has two sister restaurants in Greece.
Aketipis is renting the 10,000-square-foot space, Thomas said – space that Michelin-starred celebrity chef Marc Forgione and company completely transformed into a stylish, airy dining room with an art deco look and a dramatic 35-seat bar and lounge area. It had previously been the Assembly Steak House, a longtime steak and sushi restaurant.
Soon after American Cut opened, Forgione, a New York City resident, found that what sells across the river doesn’t necessarily sell in New Jersey. His heralded tomahawk steak was taken off the Englewood Cliffs menu after a few months of business “so as to not shock customers with its $123 price tag,” The Record reported, “and, according to one server, because no one was ordering it.” Forgione also had to abandon offering steak tartare with bone marrow because, The Record reported, he found that customers preferred a more traditional preparation. The restaurant received a 2.5 out of 4 review from the newspaper.
“They didn’t give it [American Cut] a chance,” Thomas said. Adding, Lefkes “will do much better.”
The restaurant’s address is 495 Sylvan Avenue (9W), Englewood Cliffs; 201-408-4444. It will be open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.