Fans of Mykonos, the popular little Greek restaurant that closed more than 15 months ago, take heart: If the permitting gods smile on the Longwood eatery's new hood, it could reopen sometime in March.
According to owner Tina Karoutsos, the restaurant was forced to close when the management of Springs Plaza, where the restaurant had been since 2000, did not renew its lease. She said that the space was needed so that a medical clinic could expand.
So she arranged to take over a space in the same plaza, but on the side facing Wekiva Springs Road instead of State Road 434. The space had previously been occupied by a Japanese restaurant, said Karoutsos, but had been empty for 14 years, so, "We started from scratch, just four walls." It's been a longer process than she had expected, and the last hurdle is the kitchen hood that inspectors originally did not approve.
Originally named Mayerion Mykonos, the restaurant first opened in early 2000. (Karoutsos said this week that the restaurant opened in January of 2001, but my initial review was published in the Orlando Sentinel in March of 2000, and the paper had a strict policy of not allowing me to write a review before a restaurant had opened.)
Mayerion, a Greek word meaning open kitchen, was dropped along the way, but Mykonos had many fans that mourned its closing. I've been hearing from several of them over the past several months, asking if I knew anything about its reopening. Figuring they were going through the stage of denial that we experience when a loved one passes on, I tried to be encouraging even as I secretly suspected the reopening of Mykonos was a Greek myth.
Thanks to one of those readers who staked out the space and got Karoutsos's phone number to me, I'm happy to report its return is imminent. I'll let you know when they have an opa-ning date.