WHAT U.S. 13 Grill & Catering, a restaurant serving pasta, sandwiches, steaks and breakfast
WHERE 1115 S. Governors Ave., Dover
HOURS 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week
FOR INFO CALL (302) 730-3551

U.S. Route 13 Grill & Catering seemed to pop up overnight. What used to be Niko’s Restaurant at 1115 S. Governors Ave., is now a new restaurant with a completely different sign, menu and owner.

U.S. 13 Grill may be new on the scene, having opened within the past three weeks, but owner Pete Kalesis is no stranger to the restaurant business. Kalesis came to the United States from Greece in the 1980s and has been working in restaurants ever since. He worked in diners and restaurants in New Jersey for a number of years, before moving to Delaware 18 years ago.

He opened Westside Restaurant in Milford shortly after and ran it for 17 years before starting his new venture in late December. Even after all these years, he still likes the restaurant industry.

“I like people,” Kalesis said. “I like seeing people come in and leave happy. I try to give people a nice, relaxing atmosphere and good food.”

U.S. 13 Grill serves up a variety of dishes, including Panini, steaks, pasta, salads and an all-day breakfast menu. Kalesis said he created a menu that appeals to everyone.

“We’re a family restaurant. Our menu is a mix,” he said. “There’s something on the menu for everyone form a 7-year-old kid to an older person.”

The grill may not specialize in any one type of food, but Kalesis has a central philosophy for his restaurant, and that is keeping everything homemade.

“We make everything here,” he said. “The food tastes better. If you’re going to give the customers frozen food why would they come here, they can buy the food at the supermarket and microwave it. That’s why it’s important to make everything here.”

Prices range from $4 or $5 for breakfast, to around $7 for lunch and $10 for dinner.

Everything on the menu is good, Kalesis said, but two of the specialty dishes are the Key West salad, a garden salad topped with Old Bay seasoned scallops and shrimp, and the pasta bellini, a penne tossed with extra virgin olive oil and garlic and topped with broccoli and sundried tomatoes.

Customers can also request custom dishes, even if it was something that was served when the restaurant was under its previous ownership. If it’s requested enough it may even end up on the menu, Kalesis said.

Kelesis said he also offers catering. The restaurant can provide food for anywhere from 15 to 500 people. Prices for catering start at $9 a person and go up from there. Customers can select dishes from the catering menu or they can request custom orders. The catering menu includes dishes such as pasta and deli trays, which are made with fresh roasted meat.

Server Allyson Kulhanek said everything has been running smoothly at U.S. 13 Grill & Catering so far far.

“Business has been great,” Kulhanek said. “We have wonderful customers coming in. The food is great. Its homemade food and the atmosphere is really cozy and comfortable.”

Kalesis said he is seeing day-by-day progress for his business as people discover U.S. 13 Grill.

“We are getting new customers every day,” he said. “I think good food and good service is going to bring people in and make them want to stay.”