Yia Yia Nikki’s coming to campus

Beloved local Mediterranean restaurant set to open in CUB this Spring; will offer breakfast in addition to classics



Yia Yia Nikki’s is currrently constructing their new location on the first floor of the Compton Union Building.


The Mediterranean- and Greek-inspired restaurant Yia Yia Nikki’s recently signed a five-year lease to open a new location in the Compton Union Building. 

Owner Monir Desouky said they hope to open up at the CUB within the next month. 

Karee Shaw has been working as the CUB’s director of facilities and operations for the last 11 years. 

“I’m just really excited to have the food concept that we haven’t had before,” Shaw said. “We’ve never had Greek food in the facility and I think it’s really exciting to have the food court spaces full.” 

Desouky said Yia Yia Nikki’s originally started in 2015 as a small drive-thru in La Grande, Ore. Two years later, they opened another location in La Grande, designed so people could also dine-in to enjoy their food. 

He has worked in the food service industry at various universities all over the United States, including Texas, California, Idaho and Oregon. Desouky said two years ago he retired from working in higher education and began to focus more on Yia Yia Nikki’s business. 

Desouky runs the family shop with his two sons who both live in Pullman. They were ultimately the driving force for Desouky to open multiple locations around the Palouse.

Pullman’s environment and diverse community was another encouraging factor in Desouky’s decision to expand his locations, he said. Desouky said he comes from Oregon where there is not much diversity, as a majority of the community is white. 

“[In Pullman] you get a beautiful melting pot from every aspect all over the world,” he said. 

Since opening in Pullman, Deosuky said the business has been very successful and exceeded his expectations. The new location in the CUB will be the third location just in Pullman, with a drive-thru location at 1300 S Grand Ave. and a dine-in space in the Lumberyard food hall.

Desouky is excited to provide a healthy choice of Mediterranean and Greek food on campus for students, faculty and staff, he said. 

He said in addition to lunch and dinner options, they will also be adding breakfast to their menu. One of their breakfast options will be a gyro breakfast burrito, which includes gyro meat, hash browns, eggs, fresh vegetables, tzatziki, feta and cheddar cheese. 

Student workers make up about 85% of Yia Yia Nikki’s current staff. Desouky said they will be looking to hire students at the new location to provide them with tools and resources that will help make them successful at a job after graduation. 

“We’re very excited to be there. We just gotta get it done, get it open, and have fun with it,” Desouky said.