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Ormond Beach Observer Saturday, Jul. 11, 2015 3 years ago

Greek restaurant opens

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by: Wayne Grant Real Estate Editor

The business is owned by a 21-year-old.

Wayne Grant

News Editor

Those who have had a taste of Greek cuisine at the annual Greek Festival in Daytona Beach now can try an entire menu. Greektown Taverna has opened at 150 N. Nova Road in the Ormond Beach Marketplace shopping center, where Steve’s Famous Diner operated until closing a few months ago.

It’s owned by 21-year-old Taki Dimitrakopoulos, who is being aided his father, George, a long-time restauranteur who operated Byron’s Grill in Daytona Beach until he sold it in 2007.

“I’m now helping my son,” the elder Dimitrakopoulos, who created the menu, said recently.

In fact, it’s a family affair at the new restaurant, as Taki’s sister, Sia, and brother, Petros, both work at the restaurant, as well as a cousin, Georgia Paspalakis.

They are gratified that they have already developed a following among the local Greek population .

“It’s very important to get support from the Greek community,” George Dimitrakopoulos said.

Although their goal is to be traditional, Taki Dimitrakopoulos said menu items will cater to those not familiar with Greek food, with “introductory” dishes.

“I think with all ethnic food, you need to ease into it,” he said. “Once they try it they love it.”

They’ve only had a soft opening, with no advertising, and plan a grand opening on July 15. Taki Dimitrakopoulos said they want to be sure and be ready when the crowds start to come to the 151-seat restaurant.

There’s also a market at the restaurant, where guests can purchase grape leaves, cheeses, preserves, olive oil, coffee and other items for Greek cooking.

He said there’s no real way to describe Greek cooking, because every region of the country is different. In the north of Greece, they have hardier fare, such as moussaka, and the coast has a lot of seafood.

“It’s a variety and you can’t really put a label on it,” he said.

His grandparents, on both sides, were born in Greece, and his parents are from Canada. Taki Dimitrakopoulos graduated from Seabreeze High School in 2012, where he attended the culinary academy. He later graduated from Daytona State College and wants to further his education in hospitality management at the University of Central Florida.

He also learned a lot about the business by helping out in the family restaurant growing up.

He said he loves the location, near a major intersection with neighborhoods all around.

Growing up in the business, he said restaurants have always been part of his life.

“I love taking care of guests and making people happy,” he said.

Call 944-9526.

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