Updated to correct relationship of new owners of old Theo's Kitchen spot.
Theo’s Kitchen, the popular, ostensibly Greek restaurant that has occupied a space near the corner of Michigan Street and Osceola Avenue in Orlando for more than 20 years, has been closed. A new restaurant, owned by the children of Theo’s, will open in that space soon. But Theo’s fans are wondering if they will ever see their favorite foods again.
The answer is yes, and here’s the scoop.
Younan Ghazal, owner of Theo’s, closed the original location with the intention of reopening farther down Michigan Street, west of Orange Avenue. The plans were drawn up and the city gave its go-ahead. But construction costs started to soar beyond the earlier estimates. So that plan has been scrapped.
Now Ghazal has his eyes on a site in the Winn-Dixie plaza on Curry Ford Road, west of Crystal Lake Drive. Theo’s will go into a space just west of Mike’s Catfish restaurant. (There’s a lot of restaurant activity going on there, with a barbecue joint under construction just east of the grocery store.)
According to my sources, the new Theo’s will have 44 to 46 seats in 2000 square feet (plus some outside seating on a side sidewalk). Renovation of the space is set to begin immediately after permitting is completed. (Yeah, yeah -- how long until it opens?) Start counting three months from this Friday, I’m told.
And what about the old place? I hear The owner of the former Theo's spot has turned it over to his kids, who wanted to get into the restaurant business. (Kids -- they don’t read newspapers any more!) The kids also wanted to present Theo’s identical menu, but Ghazal apparently had a little talk with them about that. (I hear lawyers were involved.)
The restaurant will be called either Mediterranean or Aegean Blue. They’re trying to get it up and running as soon as possible. Welcome to the restaurant business, kids!
I’ll let you know which opens first, Theo’s or the Blue place.