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VIDEO: Olympia Taverna offers a sneak peek ahead of its long-awaited reopening

It was a Rutland mainstay for decades, and finally, it's making a long-awaited comeback.

It was October of 2020 when the Olympia Greek Taverna at Hwy 33 off Rutland Road was destroyed by fire.

By the following March after the fire, there was talk of re-opening, by Christmas.

Three Christmases have come and gone.

After almost three and a half years, the doors are open, for take-out only at first this weekend.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"It's a relief," said Mike Koutsantonis. "It really is."

So why did it take so long?

"A little bit of everything," he said, "from COVID and then, you know, delays at the city, delays with architects, delays with procuring materials and it just seemed to be a domino effect."

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

But he and his family have always kept faith.

"After three and a half years most people would have given up," he said, "but we're still here."

The newly renovated restaurant has some of the same design elements of the restaurant that did business in Rutland for almost five decades, but it will be bigger and better than before.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"We're going to have a patio again, but this a much nicer, larger, more useful patio," said Koutsantonis.

And it can be used as an open patio, or enclosed when it's cooler.

"We'll be able to use the patio year-round."

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

The menu will have all of the old favourites, with a few additions, but simplified.

"We've shrunk the menu down so it's one page instead of an eight-page book," he said.

The plan is to open with just take-out for the first few weeks, and then open the dining room in a few weeks.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia <who> Mike Koutsantonis, Olympia Greek Taverna

It's a walk before you run philosophy.

"We don't want to shoot ourselves in the foot right off the bat," Koutsantonis said, with a smile.

When the restaurant, upstairs lounge and patio are all open, the new Taverna will have room for you and 189 of your friends.

If your mouth is watering, you can grab some take-out after 4:00 Saturday.

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