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Friday, December 3, 2021

Owners of Kelowna’s Olympia Taverna starting from scratch after devastating fire

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It is a new chapter for a popular Kelowna restaurant.

A fast-moving fire destroyed Olympia Taverna back in October of 2020.

The fire was deemed non-suspicious with the cause likely electrical in nature or some kind of a mechanical failure, according to the Kelowna Fire Department.

Twenty-five firefighters responded to the aggressive blaze, along with four engines, a command unit, a rescue truck and two ladder trucks.

On Monday, crews started razing what’s left of the Rutland establishment so that the owners can begin the process of building a brand new restaurant.

Getting to this point has been a long and difficult process, according to co-owner Mike Koutsantonis.

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“We had to deal with the insurance side if it, then find a contractor. There was also a lot of asbestos which got taken out last week and now the heavy lifters are in.”

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Koutsantonis says the past few months have also been stressful as they had to determine how to move forward, adding it wasn’t initially clear whether the building could be salvaged or not.

“We own the land and the building so, we’re definitely rebuilding. We have the third generation coming along and they want to continue on with the legacy, so hey, why not?” he said.

The Rutland location was opened in 1973.

All three generations have now been working in the family business and Koutsantonis says they have been inundated with messages from loyal customers who want to see the doors re-open.

He says the hope is to be serving fabulous food to local residents again as early as December.

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