My Big Fat Greek Restaurant, located on Mill Avenue between Fifth and Sixth Streets, reopened its doors Monday, after a grease fire shut down the restaurant in March 2012.
W. P. Carey School of Business alumnus Ryan Mitchell got his start as a server at the restaurant and is now the owner.
Mitchell said the fire occurred in the kitchen area when grease got caught in the building’s ductwork and ventilation.
“We spent the past 11 months getting the restaurant back up and running, which included fireproofing the restaurant by repairing the ductwork,” Mitchell said.
General Manager Nayt Eyler was hired in January to help bring new life to the restaurant.
“(Crews) started construction in October and worked day in and day out through the end of December,” he said.
Eyler said they remodeled the kitchen and added an updated look to the front.
“We are operating like we never shut the doors,” he said.
The Mill Avenue location is the original out of the 12 Valley restaurants.
Eyler said the goal of the restaurant is to offer a family-friendly place on Mill Avenue to cater to the lunch and late-night dinner crowds.
“We want to be a premiere upscale restaurant for dinner that revolves around Mediterranean-influenced food,” he said.
The menu at My Big Fat Greek Restaurant features traditional Greek food such as falafel, hummus and gyro pitas, which are specially priced at $5 during the lunch hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Server Madison Talbott, who transferred to another location after the fire occurred, said she is happy to be back on Mill.
“It is a good atmosphere here,” she said.
Talbott said since opening, the restaurant gets a good mixture of students, local business employees and Gammage Auditorium crowds.
Eyler said they hope to add a bit of nightlife entertainment in the future by offering a disc jockey and dancing.
The restaurant will offer fire shows in the dining room and bar area, courtesy of the flaming saganaki, which is a fried cheese dish popular throughout the eastern Mediterranean area.
“We want to offer a fun, entertaining environment that offers more than just coming in and having drinks,” he said.
My Big Fat Greek Restaurant is open daily starting at 11 a.m., with happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com