Greek restaurants are abundant in the Tampa Bay area, with a slew of the ethnic eateries stretching from Clearwater to Tarpon Springs.
So when Steve Minginas and his partners decided to open their Tavern Skara in the Northwood Commons spot formerly occupied by Vincenzo’s Ristorante, they knew they were entering a crowded market.
But the owners of Eggstyle in Oldsmar and Sarasota understand the restaurant business, and Minginas said he believed the Safety Harbor area was primed for a high quality Greek eatery.
“This is an up-and-coming neighborhood,” Minginas said last week. “This four corners area attracts a lot of people who come to shop and to eat.”
“There’s enough Greek restaurants in Tarpon Springs,” he added. “But we’re right in the middle here.”
The restauarnt opened in January and recently had a ribbon cutting with the Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce. And although there is another Greek eatery right across the street, Minginas is unfazed by competition.
That’s because years of restaurant experience has taught him that as long as you have quality food, good service and a great location, you can be successful.
And based on a recent glowing review in the Tampa Bay Times, Taverna Skara fits the bill.
“I’m 100-percent Greek and have been going to Greece my whole life, and we're as authentic as you can get,” server Yana Kappis, who received much praise in the Times article, told Patch.
“We use authentic Greek ingredients and products, and we make most everything fresh in house,” she added. “Greek food is very simple, but you’ve got to do it right.”
In addition to serving traditional dishes like spanakopitakia, dolmades and pastitsio, Taverna Skara also has an impressive wine list and the largest selection of Greek beer in the area, courtesy of local distributor Greco Beverages.
Minginas said they plan to add an outdoor dining area soon, as well as a fresh fish case, full liquor bar and even belly dancing.
In the meantime Minginas wants to play a big part in the community; already the eatery has participated in the Taste of Safety Harbor, donated to Chalk Fest and won an award at the 8th Avenue soup cookoff.
“We want to stay and grow with the community,” Minginas said. “Anything having to do with the community, we want to be part of it.”
Address: 2454 McMullen Booth Rd. (Northwood Commons plaza)
Hours: Mon - Sat, 11 a.m. - close; Sun, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
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