Profile

Nickolas Livanos ’81 and Lorena Livanos ’84

Alumni, Feature, Innovators and Entrepreneurs


Livanos
 

Published:

April 6, 2012
 

Nickolas Livanos ’81 and Lorena Livanos ’84


 

Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.

Co-owners, Livanos Restaurant Group

Favorite Adelphi memories: “Spending time in the Rathskeller with friends, meeting new and interesting people, and a performance by Billy Crystal when he was just getting started in comedy.”

Favorite professors: David Rubenstein and Sal Primeggia.

Advice to students: “The general liberal arts are very important. The communication skills we learned at Adelphi really gave us our foundation.”

Living A Family Tradition

Every alumnus remembers their college friends fondly. For Nick and Lorena Livanos, those friendships were especially important. The Adelphi couple first met in an international business class, and then re-connected in the lobby of Earle Hall.

“We were part of the same circle of friends,” says Lorena. “At Adelphi, we really had this wonderful multi-national group of people working and living together.”

The joy of an international family was nothing new to Nick and Lorena, whose parents both immigrated to the New York area and brought their heritage with them. Lorena’s family owned an Italian eatery in suburban Suffolk County; Nick and his brother Bill ’84, also an Adelphi alumnus, grew up watching their father devote every waking hour to his diner in Hempstead, Long Island. 

Lorena has since joined Nick and his siblings in the family business. Over the years, they have opened more than nine restaurants in the New York metropolitan area.

While neither Nick nor Lorena had any intention of pursuing a career in the culinary arts when they graduated from Adelphi, both have found ways of incorporating their business knowledge into the operation.

Today, the Livanos group owns and operates three landmark diners in Westchester County and Stamford Connecticut, as well as three highly-regarded Manhattan locales.

Molyvos and Abboccato capture authentic flavors and tastes of Greece and Italy respectively, inspired in part by the Livanos family’s Greek origins, and Lorena’s Sicilian heritage.

Before opening Molyvos, the only Greek restaurant to receive top reviews from the New York Times, Nick took the chefs to the island of Lesbos, his father’s home, to find inspiration in the local specialties of the island. But, he is quick to point out that New York City has all the inspiration and variety a chef could ever ask for. The jewel in the family’s crown remains Oceana, opened 15 years ago to bring the freshest and most original seafood recipes in a relaxing atmosphere to midtown Manhattan.

Running such a multi-faceted operation might seem daunting, but Nick is quick to smile and shrug his shoulders at the challenges.

“We run into problems every day,” he says. “The trick is not to let yourself get overwhelmed. We love what we do, it makes everything easier.”

Nick and Lorena live in Armonk, New York with their four children, where Nick serves as a council member of their parish, the Greek Orthodox Church of Our Saviour. Never tiring of a new challenge, the family has begun the renovation and modernization of a 400-year-old residence in Molyvos, Greece.

 
 
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