teak-042111Restaurateur George Lyristis, below, says he and others bought the restaurant to keep it from going under. (Click to enlarge)

An investment group led by Bistro at Red Bank owner Lyristis_george_2George Lyristis has acquired the Monmouth Street “Asian fusion” restaurant Teak.

The restaurateur, who with his brothers Taso and Charlie also owns Zoe in Little Silver, said he and two partners bought Teak because they were concerned that the restaurant would fail, leaving another gaping hole in the downtown streetscape in the way Ashes Cigar Bar did on Broad Street with its collapse under the weight of litigation did last summer.

“I didn’t want to see another domino fall,” Lyristis tells redbankgreen.

Lyristis declined to say what information about Teak’s status he was privy to that led him to believe it might go under.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the transaction includes the acquisition of the property, at 64 Monmouth, and Teak’s liquor license, which according to borough records is owned by GOI Inc., with the Melissa Long listed as president and stockholder. The restaurant itself was owned by John Gruebel, according to the food license.

Lyristis said his brother Charlie, who runs Zoe, would probably also run Teak. While the menu will continue to be anchored by Asian dishes, including sushi, George Lyristis said, “we’ll definitely be adding another nationality to it,” much in the way the Bistro menu is a mashup of Asian, Italian, American and other cuisines.

“I don’t like boundaries – that’s the thing about my food,” he said.

No decisions have yet been made about whether Teak will continue its custom of half-price Mondays and a monthly salsa night with a live band, Lyristis said.