Long before they opened Nemea Greek Taverna and Flames Coffee Shop, Nick Tsigaris and his brothers loved eating Greek gyros and souvlaki on family vacations to Greece during the summer. Their newest downtown San Jose restaurant, Nick the Greek, which opened earlier this month, will try to replicate those dishes from the homeland. “Baby Nick” (so called as the youngest of three generations of Nicks in his family) says he is enjoying the restaurant boom in San Jose and is always looking toward his family’s next restaurant venture.

SanJose.com: What has it been like working with your family’s various restaurants?

Tsigaris: It’s fun, we’ve all grown up in restaurants—it’s pretty much in our blood. Nemea I started with my cousin because we always wanted to open a Greek place. It was going to be something like this but we changed it last minute to make it more fine dining. Realistically this [Nick the Greek] was our dream place, because this is the kind of place we grew up with, pitas and gyro sandwiches. In Greece it’s all very fast paced, fast service.

What can we expect from Nick The Greek?

A very small, simple menu; there are three salads, a soup, three different skewer plates and seven sandwiches. We’ll have pork, chicken, beef and lamb all from the rotisserie—also we’ll have skewer sandwiches. In Greece, the pork gyro is the most popular. I’m going to stay open until 3 a.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday—give La Vic’s some competition.

There have been many restaurants opening in downtown. What’s your thought on that from someone whose family runs San Jose restaurants?

A lot of people are opening restaurants and businesses, so things must be good. Look, across the street—there will be an 18-story apartment building. I mean that’s awesome—it’s blowing up. When I first started at Flames, it was just customers from school. Now it’s picking up, there’s more nightlife, more everything.

Are you always thinking ahead to a new restaurant?

Always expanding. Yeah, we’re planning on opening up another one of these—Almaden. We just opened up another place in Campbell, Hash House, and we’re trying to make another location near downtown.