Last month, as tourism and foot traffic trickled to a stop, restaurateurs Katerina and Vassilis Coumbaros made the difficult decision to close their two International Drive restaurants.
Now, they're making the even tougher decision to reopen."Delays with funding make it almost impossible for us to not reopen," said the Coumbaroses in an email Monday. "So we are reopening with limited hours, a leaner staff, and a new way of serving the community, which includes running both restaurants from one kitchen."
Those restaurants include Greek restaurant Taverna Opa, usually known for its raucous, dancing-on-the-tables atmosphere, and the sprightly Spanish restaurant Tapa Toro, where wine was once squirted into guests' mouths from a traditional bota bag.
Both restaurants are now open daily for pickup and delivery from 4 to 8 p.m., together at the Tapa Toro space near the Wheel at Icon Park, at 8441 International Drive (unit number 260).
Taverna Opa's menu includes a "My Big Fat Greek Family Dinner," which serves four people with items like Greek salad and hummus, spanakopita, chicken kebab and Opa fries. Tapa Toro offers a $69 Paella Party and a $54 chicken dinner, both serve four people.
The decision to reopen comes amid delays in both Florida's unemployment system and Small Business Administration loans meant to keep businesses like the Combaros's open right now. Those resources have been a failure for many small businesses, while other major corporate chains like those owned by Ruth's Chris Steakhouse have already received millions.
"Unfortunately, we had to furlough 95% of them and recommended that they go on unemployment. The unsettling fact is none of them have received it, and it has been a month."
The tandem Taverna Opa and Tapa Toro are offering 25 percent discounts on pickup orders for hospital staff members and essential workers, like their neighbors who continue to cook and serve food.
"We look forward to partnering with other organizations to support our fellow hospitality workers in need."
Check out all the Orlando-area restaurants offering curbside pickup and delivery of food, groceries and even booze, in Orlando Weekly's Good To Go Guide. Restaurant owners can edit their own entries, and diners can choose by cuisine, neighborhood and more.
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