Major: Culinary Arts
Job Title: Owner, Livanos Restaurant Group
Location: New York, New York
Nick Livanos ’83 oversees all restaurant operations for the Livanos Restaurant Group, which has received critical acclaim for its seven restaurants in the New York City metro area, including several three-star ratings from The New York Times and consistently high scores from Zagat.
Chef Livanos, along with his brother Bill and sister Corina, grew up working in diners on weekends and school holidays. Their father, John Livanos, came to the United States from Greece in 1956 and started the family restaurant business when he bought a luncheonette in Astoria, NY in 1961.
The Livanos family opened Café Mezé, featuring foods of the entire Mediterranean basin, in Hartsdale, NY in 1995. Molyvos, with fine-dining Greek cuisine, opened in 1997 in the Wellington Hotel in New York City. The restaurant is named for the Livanos family’s ancestral hometown on the Greek island of Lesbos. The family’s first foray into Italian cuisine, Abboccato, opened in 2004 around the corner from Molyvos in the Blakely New York hotel. Food critic Bob Lape wrote in Crain’s New York Business, “The fortitude and flexibility of the Livanos family in not just taking on Manhattan, but also upscaling dramatically from a base of diners, has long since been demonstrated.”
Today all the Livanos siblings remain involved in managing the family restaurant empire. Nick Livanos, a 1983 CIA graduate, oversees the finances and operations, and regularly meets with the chefs at each of the restaurants. Livanos restaurants employ a number of CIA graduates as chefs and managers, and Oceana and the original City Limits Diner are CIA externship locations.