The Big Greek Cafe in downtown Bethesda Credit: Andrew Metcalf

Diners in Bethesda gained another option for fast-casual Greek food when a local chain, The Big Greek Cafe, opened this week in downtown Bethesda.

The idea of opening a downtown Bethesda location grew out of a demand from customers who frequented the chain’s other three locations, Tom Strawser, director of operations, said Tuesday.

“Our nearest one is Kensington, and a lot of people go there and ask when we’re coming to Bethesda, so we found an opportunity and that was that,” Strawser said.

The restaurant, which also has locations in downtown Silver Spring and Rockville, boasts a diverse range of menu offerings ranging from pastichio, a Greek-style lasagna, to crispy fried flounder and grilled lamb chops. The menu also offers more traditional favorites including falafel platters and gyros. Dessert options include baklava and rizogalo, a Greek rice pudding.

Nick Marmaras, the co-owner of the chain, described the food offerings simply: “Original Greek food, affordable pricing, authentic, fresh.”

The North Bethesda location is at 4806 Rugby Avenue and seats between 25 and 30 guests. The restaurant features a simple interior with a wall-length mural of an island village of white houses set against a blue sea.

Strawser said the restaurant expects offer a discount day in two weeks, likely to include offers of free gyros and chicken souvlaki. Currently, it is offering $5 gyros on Wednesdays.

Interior of The Big Greek Cafe in Bethesda. Credit: Erin Doherty.