The owner, Sherif Elbagdadi, was raised in Auburn and graduated witha bachelor’s degree in business administration in December 2009.
Calypso's will feature Greek and American cuisine and will offer a familyfriendly restaurant atmosphere during the day and a nightlife atmosphere after dinner.
“Of course I'm downtown, so I want it to be geared toward students, but I want it to be family friendly,” Elbagdadi said.
Elbagdadi said his mission was “restaurant first, food first,” but he also wanted to focus on the needs of college students.
Calypso's will be open at 11 a.m. for lunch everyday and will remain open until about 3 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Elbagdadi said.
The front of the restaurant will be open and smoker-friendly, but it will have a roof.
After dinner, hookahs will be available to smoke in this area, Elbagdadi said.
“ You can have a drink, smoke a hookah, order you something to eat, watch some TV,” Elbagdadi said. “It's going to be a real nice chill atmosphere—some light music playing in the background—it's really, really going to be nice.”
The Greek menu will include gyro meat, fresh hummus, kabobs, falafel, baklava, rice pudding and flan.
Elbagdadi said most people who sell gyro meat use prepackaged meat and cook it on a normal grill.
“I'm actually going to have vertical broilers here that actually spin the meat and cook it,” Elbagdadi said.
The recipes and methods of cooking the Mediterranean food come from members of Elbagdadi's family.
Greek food isn't common in Auburn, and many students are looking forward to trying it.
"I haven't really had too much Greek or Mediterranean food before, but as long as they have good gyros and falafels I'm sure I'll frequent the place,” said Collin Ray, junior in philosophy and political science.
Everything on a regular sports bar menu will also be offered at Calypso's, Elbagdadi said.
Burgers, fries, wings, tenders, chicken sandwiches and steak are a few of the choices.
Elbagdadi said he has hired two cooks with more than 25 years of experience each.
Cleanliness and professionalism in the kitchen were qualities Elbagdadi said he looked for when hiring cooks.
Lucille Berry, the main cook, has never worked in a kitchen that scored below a 98 on a health inspection, Elbagdadi said.
Calypso's will have low prices on food and drinks, Elbagdadi said.
“I'm in this alone, so I've kept my costs down,” Elbagdadi said. “My prices are very reasonable.”
For $6.95, Elbagdadi said the customer will receive a sandwich, fries and a drink. A full platter meal is $8.95, which includes rice, hummus, salad and kabob meat or gyro meat.
The style of service will be similar to Buffalo Connection or Little Italy.
Customers will come up to the counter, order their food and a waiter will bring the food to their table, Elbagdadi said.
"I can't wait to try the new restaurant with my friends—it looks promising,” said Carol Ann Johnson, freshman in Spanish and international trade. “I think the food will be delicious and I think it'll add good variety to the eating scene in Auburn.”