Will Makris is not your average restauranteur. While most successful restaurant entrepreneurs in New York City come from elite universities, culinary institutions, or networks, Will Makris has a completely different story. Taking the unconventional route and eventually rising to NYC hospitality stardom, Will Makris is providing inspiration for entrepreneurs everywhere, including the younger version of himself.
Markis’s background instilled deep, authentic lessons of hard work and patience that his NYC hospitality peers did not necessarily receive themselves. among many other blue-collar jobs, Makris drove a Tropicana truck to make a living.
Learning what he could through supplemental education, watching from afar, networking, and taking risks, Makris eventually worked his way up the ‘corporate latter’ of several nightlife groups. After spending time at Provocateur, Butter, as well as Tao Group, Makris eventually progressed into full-blown restaurant entrepreneurship. Makris is the co-owner of Lola Taverna & Little Prince with partner Cobi Levy, Broken Coconut with partner Scott Sartiano, and lounges such as Socialista with partner Maggio Cipriani.
Makris’s unique blend of grit and luxury has positioned him to gain the trust of various industry leaders in the business. Further, his restaurants have earned somewhat of a reputation for being the ‘go-to’ spots for celebrities, athletes, and socialites while in NYC.
Beyond garnering investment and popularity, Makris’s steady hand and vivacious personality have been extremely valuable since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Makris and his partner Cobi Levy got creative in order to keep their business afloat and stay relevant throughout these uncertain times. The duo did exactly this and more, their Soho-based Mediterranean restaurant Lola Taverna has actually been thriving since last summer.
Taking advantage of their prime location on the corner of Sixth Avenue, Levy and Makris created a gorgeously landscaped double-sided outdoor dining space as well as made Father Fagan Park their unofficial secondary outdoor dining space. This way, any customer who could not find a seat would have another opportunity to eat Lola’s food in a beautiful outdoor setting.
Always staying ahead of the game, Makris is exploring ways to grow Lola Taverna. Honoring the appetite for risk that is partially responsible for his recent success, Makris is considering expanding the brand to Los Angeles as well as Las Vegas as soon as possible.
“I’m getting calls from all over the country with interest. We’re firing on all cylinders.” Makris states.
As the hospitality industry is undergoing rapid change, we are definitely looking forward to Makris’s next move.