Restaurateur Cobi Levy opened Greek restaurant Lola Taverna in SoHo last October. After running hospitality industry mainstays like French bistro Little Prince and healthy hotspot Broken Coconut, Levy was primed for something different. He tapped marketing whiz Will Makris to lead the restaurant’s promotional efforts. “I really respect Will,” says Levy. “Good partnerships come from yin and yang. There are certain things I know better and there are certain things Will knows better.”
Lola Taverna’s airy, rustic ambiance quickly attracted diners, who flock to its covered outdoor dining area. Six months after opening, Levy and Makris were staring down the barrel of a pandemic. “I have to give Cobi a lot of credit for being
the one who spearheaded the adjustment as fast as possible,” Makris says. “Cobi paid attention to what was going on in the world and [knew] we had to make people want to come to Lola for the food but also have outdoor seating where they felt comfortable and protected.” Levy always felt Lola’s prime corner location on Sixth Avenue was special, and its lush outdoor patio invites customers to dine safely. “Cobi really pushed for us to be the rock in the community. At some point, when things get better, we want to be a focal point,” says Makris.
The duo are already exploring ways to grow Lola Taverna. “I’m getting calls from all over the country with interest,” says Makris. “We are planning on expanding the brand, hopefully to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. We’re firing on all cylinders.”