Local Friends Launch Greek’s Pizzeria & Tapp Room In Greenwood
Writer / Jon Shoulders
Photographer / Erin Feldmeyer
Michael Harvey and Jason Tapp, co-owners of Greek’s Pizzeria in Greenwood, went to great lengths to ensure they understood the concept and spirit of their restaurant franchise.
In 2003, the two friends decided there was no better way to enhance their grasp of Greek food and culture than to travel to the country itself and absorb it firsthand. They spent two weeks doing just that, visiting the areas where Greek’s Pizzeria founder A. C. Karamesines happened to spend his formative years. Opening their own Greek’s franchise was still years away, but the duo came away from the trip with a newfound appreciation for Greek cuisine.
“While we were there, we experienced different types of eclectic restaurants and foods — one being how pizza has evolved and is interpreted in the U.S. compared to all other countries,” Tapp recalls. “Once we began to consider aligning ourselves with Greek’s as a franchise, it was an easy decision because what we observed and experienced about pizza abroad was what made Greek’s so different from any other pizza place out there.”
When the time came to look for the right spot in Greenwood to launch a Greek’s location that would have its own personality yet retain the spirit of the Greek’s franchise, Harvey and Tapp took to the task with excitement.
“Growing up in the community has provided us with a little bit of an advantage, knowing the people around us and the support from all of our family and friends that we’ve grown up with — we couldn’t ask for better support,” Harvey says. “We found a promising spot off of State Road 135, and we knew we could hit it out of the park.”
The decision to open a Greek’s franchise sprung from Harvey and Tapp’s realization that their professional skill sets paired well.
“For the last 10 years I worked for an Italian food distributor that actually distributed food to Greek’s, so I had a past working relationship with them, and Jason had opened up a Greek’s in Franklin, which has his first Tapp Room with a selection of draft beers,” says Harvey, adding that he and Tapp are Greenwood High School and 2001 Indiana University-Bloomington grads.
“We decided it would be a great fit for me to bring my expertise and for Jason to use his past experience and combine efforts to open in Greenwood and have a second Tapp Room there,” Harvey adds.
Greek’s Pizzeria & Tapp Room Greenwood officially opened on April 10 in the space previously occupied by Beefcake Burgers, and the co-owners decided to line the walls with photos they took during their Greece trip, which Harvey feels enhances his patrons’ dining experiences.
“I think it’s cool for customers to be able to come in and see those pictures and immerse themselves in the culture in that way,” Harvey says.
In addition to 14 specialty pizzas like the Five Cheese, the Spinach Deluxe and the Hawaiian Special, Greek’s Greenwood offers a create-your-own-pizza option as well as pasta, sandwiches, salads, wings, breadsticks, desserts and kids meals.
“Center Grove is a meat-eating community,” Harvey says. “We have a couple specialty pizzas that people typically gravitate toward. One is the Greek’s Special and the other pizza is definitely our Gourmet Meat pizza. That’s the meat of all meats — ham, bacon, sausage, pepperoni and meatballs. People love it.”
Founded in 1969, the first Greek’s Pizzeria was opened by Karamesines in Valparaiso, and there are currently 26 independently-owned and -operated locations throughout Indiana.
“I think what makes this Greek’s special in Greenwood is that you have two guys that grew up here and truly want to serve the community the best they can,” Harvey says. “I don’t think there’s a substitute for that. Nothing against people who grew up outside the community, but it’s just a little bit different when you’re born and raised here and decide to give back a little bit.”
Tapp echoes this sentiment and feels his and Harvey’s connection to Greenwood makes their eatery special.
“With two home-grown owners, we tend to better understand our customer base — personally and from a business standpoint too,” he says. “We find it very important to give back to the community that gave so much to us while growing up. It’s through the concept of paying it forward that we hope folks can better understand why we chose Greenwood as our location versus the northside or anywhere else.”
Greek’s Pizzeria & Tapp Room Greenwood is located at 1642 Olive Branch Parke Lane. Carry-out and delivery available.
For more info, call 317-893-4770 or visit greekspizzeria.com.