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For Armonk-Based Livanos Family, Restaurants Are In Their Blood

The Livanos family owns restaurants that cater to every occassion.
The Livanos family owns restaurants that cater to every occassion. Photo Credit: Paul Johnson

ARMONK, N.Y. -- Food is the main topic of conversation at many a Livanos family gathering.

As the owners of six restaurants -- City Limits in White Plains and Stamford, Oceana, Molyvos and Abboccato in Manhattan, and Moderne Barn in Armonk -- Corina Livanos says it's part of  the family's fabric.

"My husband likes to joke he needs another person in the family to talk sports with as when we're all together, we talk a lot about the restaurants," she said. In the family's defense, she said they're all working at different locations so they don't get together as much as they'd like to.

Though there was never any pressure to join the family business, the three offspring of John and Chrysa Livanos -- Nick, Bill  and Corina -- say their career choices to join the Livanos Family Restaurant Group was a natural extension of how they grew up.

"We were all, from a very young age, introduced to the restaurants – my father brought us to work a lot – and for all of us, I think we felt it was our calling," said Corina.

No sibling rivalry here, either. Each have their own roles. Bill is a trouble-shooter who mainly focuses on the Westchester restaurants and City Limits in Stamford. Nick handles the nitty gritty aspects of the business, with more of a focus on Manhattan. And Corina, with younger children at home, spends a lot of time at Oceana and Moderne Barn.

"I'm more front of the house," she said.

John is still hands on and spends a lot of time in Moderne Barn. "You'll see him in the kitchen taking deliveries, talking to the chef, and so on," she said.

With Moderne Barn in their backyard -- after many years in Long Island, the family now lives in Armonk -- it's easy to feel the familial atmosphere when you walk into the restaurant.

And that was the point. The Livanos opened Moderne Barn in 2010 sensing a need in the community for a more upscale dining experience.

Each restaurant, Corina explained, has its own personality which caters to every occassion. Oceana is the most high end and formal, Greek restaurant Molyvos captures the family's heritage, Abboccato is home-style Italian near New York's theatre district, City Limits is all about being family-friendly, while Moderne Barn is an extension of their community.

Said Corina: "We all love our restaurants and being in this business," she said. "It's part of who we are."

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