Pitta Souvli restaurant offers Mediterranean dishes with an American twist

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Pitta Souvli plans to keep doing takeout at the restaurant, despite the governor's allowance of dining rooms to open. (Courtest Elly Schoomer)
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Pitta Souvli plans to keep doing takeout at the restaurant, despite the governor's allowance of dining rooms to open. (Courtest Elly Schoomer)
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The halloumi and eggplant appetizer is a fan-favorite menu item. (Photos courtesy Elly Schommer)
Paul and Lisa Schommer wanted to create a business where the whole family could work and a place where their granddaughter could grow up.

Six years ago, the couple purchased Pitta Souvli, a restaurant in Chandler. The family kept the menu and much of the staff, said Elly Schommer, Paul and Lisa’s daughter.

“We’ve really created a family atmosphere,” Elly said of her family’s restaurant where she works during the day while her daughter is at school. “It’s been a great opportunity for us; we’ve been doing really well. The community we’ve built around the restaurant has been wonderful.”

The restaurant serves what Elly describes as Mediterranean, Greek-inspired food—pita sandwiches, Euro chicken, lamb and more.

“It’s Mediterranean with a little bit of an American twist on it,” she said about her family’s restaurant.


As important as the food is to the family, the service and family atmosphere is equally important.

“We take a lot of pride in our food and the service we provide,” she said. “The biggest reason my parents decided to jump in was because I was a single mom, and my daughter was 2, and my parents wanted to have a place we could all work together and expose my daughter to the family business kind of feel. We do everything we can to make sure we have a welcoming environment and that we are always friendly—we want it to feel like you’re already part of the family.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic led Gov. Doug Ducey to close dine-in services at restaurants across the state, the family worked quickly to adjust to takeout. The restaurant was proactive in shutting its dining room, closing it about a week before Ducey issued the executive order.

“We definitely had to make some tough decisions, but we are doing OK,” Elly said. “We’ve been doing enough to keep the business going. We’re grateful to be open right now. We are still going to keep the dining room closed; we are a small restaurant with only 14 tables, and there’s not a way to keep it open and have people dine in and maintain the safety we need to. We are just taking it week by week.”