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Souvla by Mamakas is getting the grill going again this winter, popping up inside Bar Koukla's space while the restaurant is closed for indoor dining. Previously operating across the street in an empty parking lot over the summer on weekends, Souvla proved its popularity as line ups for their walk-in-only space seemed never-ending. Shuttering as planned once the warmer weather disappeared, with plans to reopen next summer, they've relaunched sooner than expected in an effort to keep their staff employed while the Provincial government's most recent restrictions are still in place.
"It's really about keeping the team working. We don't want to furlough; they have been through enough," says Owner Thanos Tripi. "It's just not fair to the team. So I'm doing everything I can to keep them employed."
Run by Owner Thanos Tripi of the Mamakas Group of restaurants in the Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood, they operate Mamakas Taverna, Agora Greek Market and of course, Bar Koukla. Souvla is their street food concept that focuses on charcoal spit-roasted meats, often hugged by a pita or found on top of a salad. Not only well-suited for takeout but more approachable and at a lower price point than Mamakas, which is also doing takeout right now, Souvla completes the groups' offerings.
"In our previous lockdown, Koukla didn't translate to take out. It's very much an experience-based restaurant," says Tripi. "Small plates and cocktails and natural wines. So Koukla pivoted to the bottle shop and is doing so again. With an empty kitchen, we thought to bring back Souvla as it was very successful over the summer."
Making some changes from this past summer, find a refreshed menu with new options alongside familiar favourites. Substituting grilled seafood are a couple of new proteins.
Additions to their pita options are beef and lamb kebob pitas, as well as a grilled halloumi cheese pita -- a vegetarian-friendly option they didn't offer before. Plus, those looking to skip the wrap can take a look at their new plate options, which feature all the same proteins from the pitas but are served with Greek salad, rice pilaf and potatoes. Don't forget dessert. Souvla now has Tiropita, a sweet phyllo wrapped feta pie topped with sour cherries.
Souvla by Mamakas at Koukla is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. They're available for delivery and pick-up on Ambassador, which is also conveniently linked to their website, as well as Uber Eats.