Souvla by Mamakas finds its new Yorkville home; new concept by the food group in the works too | TasteToronto

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Souvla by Mamakas finds its new Yorkville home; new concept by the food group in the works too

Souvla by Mamakas finds its new Yorkville home; new concept by the food group in the works too

Souvla by Mamakas finds its new Yorkville home; new concept by the food group in the works too

After its inception in an Ossington parking lot and setting up shop at Union Station's summer market, Souvla by Mamakas Food Group has popped up again, this time in the Yorkville neighbourhood. But it's only warming up the seat for what's coming next — Mamakas' latest creation. 

The food group, owned by Thanos Tripi, was created as an homage to the matriarchs in his family. Essentially meaning "mama's boy," the name was a nod to all the women in his family that taught him, the youngest of three, whatever he knows. 

"The women of my family took me in and shared with me the recipes and really brought me into the kitchen," he said. "So it's an homage to how I was raised by my grandmothers, my aunt and my mother, primarily."

By the time Souvla came around, Tripi had already covered a variety of Greek-Aegean food. From the original Mamakas Taverna to the small plates and cocktail restaurant Bar Koukla and the Greek market called Agora, which serves an array of salads, dips, breads and so much more. What didn't exist was a street barbecue-style spot — something which is incredibly prevalent in Greek cuisine.

As for people unaware of what Aegean food is exactly, Tripi explained it as the food prevalent on the east coast of Greece facing the Aegean sea that also has some influences from coastal Turkey, making for an interesting blend of flavours and backgrounds. 

Tripi and his team were able to activate such a spot right across the street from Mamakas Taverna, in a parking lot on Ossington Street. And thus, Souvla was born. Given that it happened during the pandemic, it helped serve the community around the location. 

"When the things were really tough, it gave us an opportunity to feed people at a lower price point with the same focus on quality that all of our restaurants do have," Tripi said. "We implemented our same philosophies to a more accessible food item that obviously travelled well with delivery."

Until recently, the Mamakas Food Group was deeply entrenched in the West End of Toronto, making Tripi want to break into a different area. That was the primary reason for taking up the Yorkville location where Souvla sits for now. It is a neighbourhood familiar with the brand as its people often travel west to gorge on the food Tripi's teams put out daily. 

"A lot of our guests over the last 10 years, our loyal guests have been coming from that neighbourhood," Tripi said. "So we feel that it was time for us to come to them and offer them what we do closer to their home."

This move allows the group to serve a different demographic and reach further north through delivery by using that kitchen as a hub to make and deliver the food. Although it's not the Mamakas menu, it's delicious, accessible and present at a lower price point. 

"We thought this was the best use of the space until we get our permits to build," Tripi said. 

His latest creation, still under planning, will take over the Scollard Variety & Deli — a neighbourhood staple for about four decades. The previous owner, Tom Stavropolous, finally decided it was time to retire and approached Tripi to take over from him, owing to their strong working relationship spanning many years. Much like the deli, this concept will have the only restaurant license allowed on Scollard Street. 

While details are not finalized just yet, Tripi aims to open this creation, which he believes will be an "incredible addition to the neighbourhood," by late summer. And he plans on staying there for a long time, having signed a 20-year lease for the building. 

There is no menu or even a name yet, but the team is working with celebrated designers that have worked all over the world to create this veritable masterpiece of a restaurant. 

It's going to exist as a full-service, sit-down restaurant that will seat 80 people, including in Tripi's favourite part about the location — a beautiful, secret garden at the back of the address that will provide a much-needed respite from all the action around the neighbourhood.

"It's going to be the thrill of the find," Tripi said. "It's a very demure location, but right in the heart, the action — and I like that." 

The new concept will come bearing the gift of Greek coffee, which it will introduce to the neighbourhood. The rest of the menu will also be within the Mamakas DNA — featuring Greek wines, Greek beer and a robust and in-depth cocktail program. 

The team will take the small-plates concept they introduced at Koukla and expand on it, owing to the larger space to operate in. To cater to the people who work, shop and live in the neighbourhood, the restaurant will also run a strong daytime program, the details for which are yet to be finalized. 

Now, you, the reader, might wonder what happens to Souvla once the build begins for this new creation. Does it move? Does it cease to be? 

Well, there is no reason to worry because we don't think Souvla is going off the map just yet. Tripi is thinking of establishing a brick-and-mortar concept for the barbecue joint sometime in the future. But that is not the priority currently. Right now, he is focused on getting his latest creation up and running and seeing his ideas come to fruition. 

It is clear that the Mamakas Food Group is not planning to slow down just yet. They have other plans they're working on around the city as well, but the one we're looking forward to the most is this new concept coming to us from Yorkville. 

With the way it is described, there is no doubt that it will see the same footfall, if not more, than all the other restaurants have seen to date. 

Tags:

New restaurant in Yorkville

Souvla by Mamakas

Mamakas Food Group

Souvla by Mamakas finds its new Yorkville home; new concept by the food group in the works too

News

26 days ago | Updated: 26 days ago

Souvla by Mamakas finds its new Yorkville home; new concept by the food group in the works too

Abhigyaan Bararia
written by

Abhigyaan Bararia

After its inception in an Ossington parking lot and setting up shop at Union Station's summer market, Souvla by Mamakas Food Group has popped up again, this time in the Yorkville neighbourhood. But it's only warming up the seat for what's coming next — Mamakas' latest creation. 

The food group, owned by Thanos Tripi, was created as an homage to the matriarchs in his family. Essentially meaning "mama's boy," the name was a nod to all the women in his family that taught him, the youngest of three, whatever he knows. 

"The women of my family took me in and shared with me the recipes and really brought me into the kitchen," he said. "So it's an homage to how I was raised by my grandmothers, my aunt and my mother, primarily."

By the time Souvla came around, Tripi had already covered a variety of Greek-Aegean food. From the original Mamakas Taverna to the small plates and cocktail restaurant Bar Koukla and the Greek market called Agora, which serves an array of salads, dips, breads and so much more. What didn't exist was a street barbecue-style spot — something which is incredibly prevalent in Greek cuisine.

As for people unaware of what Aegean food is exactly, Tripi explained it as the food prevalent on the east coast of Greece facing the Aegean sea that also has some influences from coastal Turkey, making for an interesting blend of flavours and backgrounds. 

Tripi and his team were able to activate such a spot right across the street from Mamakas Taverna, in a parking lot on Ossington Street. And thus, Souvla was born. Given that it happened during the pandemic, it helped serve the community around the location. 

"When the things were really tough, it gave us an opportunity to feed people at a lower price point with the same focus on quality that all of our restaurants do have," Tripi said. "We implemented our same philosophies to a more accessible food item that obviously travelled well with delivery."

Until recently, the Mamakas Food Group was deeply entrenched in the West End of Toronto, making Tripi want to break into a different area. That was the primary reason for taking up the Yorkville location where Souvla sits for now. It is a neighbourhood familiar with the brand as its people often travel west to gorge on the food Tripi's teams put out daily. 

"A lot of our guests over the last 10 years, our loyal guests have been coming from that neighbourhood," Tripi said. "So we feel that it was time for us to come to them and offer them what we do closer to their home."

This move allows the group to serve a different demographic and reach further north through delivery by using that kitchen as a hub to make and deliver the food. Although it's not the Mamakas menu, it's delicious, accessible and present at a lower price point. 

"We thought this was the best use of the space until we get our permits to build," Tripi said. 

His latest creation, still under planning, will take over the Scollard Variety & Deli — a neighbourhood staple for about four decades. The previous owner, Tom Stavropolous, finally decided it was time to retire and approached Tripi to take over from him, owing to their strong working relationship spanning many years. Much like the deli, this concept will have the only restaurant license allowed on Scollard Street. 

While details are not finalized just yet, Tripi aims to open this creation, which he believes will be an "incredible addition to the neighbourhood," by late summer. And he plans on staying there for a long time, having signed a 20-year lease for the building. 

There is no menu or even a name yet, but the team is working with celebrated designers that have worked all over the world to create this veritable masterpiece of a restaurant. 

It's going to exist as a full-service, sit-down restaurant that will seat 80 people, including in Tripi's favourite part about the location — a beautiful, secret garden at the back of the address that will provide a much-needed respite from all the action around the neighbourhood.

"It's going to be the thrill of the find," Tripi said. "It's a very demure location, but right in the heart, the action — and I like that." 

The new concept will come bearing the gift of Greek coffee, which it will introduce to the neighbourhood. The rest of the menu will also be within the Mamakas DNA — featuring Greek wines, Greek beer and a robust and in-depth cocktail program. 

The team will take the small-plates concept they introduced at Koukla and expand on it, owing to the larger space to operate in. To cater to the people who work, shop and live in the neighbourhood, the restaurant will also run a strong daytime program, the details for which are yet to be finalized. 

Now, you, the reader, might wonder what happens to Souvla once the build begins for this new creation. Does it move? Does it cease to be? 

Well, there is no reason to worry because we don't think Souvla is going off the map just yet. Tripi is thinking of establishing a brick-and-mortar concept for the barbecue joint sometime in the future. But that is not the priority currently. Right now, he is focused on getting his latest creation up and running and seeing his ideas come to fruition. 

It is clear that the Mamakas Food Group is not planning to slow down just yet. They have other plans they're working on around the city as well, but the one we're looking forward to the most is this new concept coming to us from Yorkville. 

With the way it is described, there is no doubt that it will see the same footfall, if not more, than all the other restaurants have seen to date. 

Tags:

New restaurant in Yorkville

Souvla by Mamakas

Mamakas Food Group