My Big Fat Greek Restaurant is opening in the long-empty Macaroni Grill location on North Academy.

The building at 7605 North Academy Boulevard has been shuttered for more than a year and opened Thursday night for friends and family in its new incarnation. The restaurant’s public opening will be this Monday, Aug. 8.

My Big Fat Greek Restaurant got its start in Arizona, where there are 13 stores.

There is one restaurant in Texas and another in Kansas.

Derek DePoy, a partner who will open and manage the new restaurant in the Briargate area, started as a waiter at My Big Fat Greek Restaurant when he was a university student in Tempe, Ariz.

He said he and his partner decided to open here because they liked the area and wanted to live here.

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“We were interested in this location a while back,” DePoy said.

But there was another deal in the works.

“When it fell through, we jumped on it,” DePoy said of the old Macaroni Grill building. “It’s perfect for our demographic. It’s a high-traffic, affluent area that’s perfect for our concept.”

The concept is quality Greek food – both authentic and fusion.

“We make our food fresh every day,” DePoy said. “But the atmosphere is what really draws people in.”

In addition to a festive décor, wait staff sing “opa,” do Greek line dances through the restaurant and break plates, DePoy said. Appetizer prices range from $5 to $16 and entrée prices range from $8 to $19.