In 1969 the Adamopoulos family purchased a restaurant in Kenora, Ontario called “The Plaza”. Initially the restaurant sold burgers, hot sandwiches, veal cutlets, steaks, etc., classic Canadian fare. Tommy & Maria, who were both from Greece, asked their parents to come to Canada upon the arrival of their daughters Lena & Tina to help with their new young family.
Soon after, two boys expanded the family with the arrival of Dimitri and Andreas. Customers enjoyed the food at The Plaza, but soon became very interested in the Greek food that was at the family table prepared by Tommy’s mother, (Yiayia) Helen.
Everyday YiaYia would prepare for lunch and dinner traditional Greek favourites for the family to eat. Family friends were offered some unique Greek flavours to try and they were instantly asking that these items be added to the menu. Over the years the menu essentially became 85% Greek food, with some of the original classics.
Tommy and Maria retired from the Plaza in 2004, with Dimitri & Tina taking over the family business in Kenora.
In 2014 Tommy, Maria, Dimitri, & Andreas reunited in Victoria, and opened Ithaka Greek Restaurant at 1102 Yates. We were not exactly certain how our new restaurant would be received. What we did know was that we felt confident in the high quality of Greek food our family could prepare. We believed that our style of hospitality and service was of a high level to take care of and welcome our guests. We just needed the opportunity to have Victoria locals, and visitors, try “Ithaka”.
Our guests often ask: “What does Ithaka mean?”
There are many paths one could take to give a proper answer. Of course, Ithaka is an island off the west coast of Greece. It is an island that is front, and center in Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey. But at the heart of it, Ithaka to the Greeks essentially means:
“Life is about the journey….not the destination.”
We will all encounter various challenges, opportunities, setbacks, successes, love lost and love found. We will see things in other places far away from where we are from and from what we know. But we must remember always to appreciate the differences, culture, flavours and wonderful things we experience along the way.
The day will come when you will return to your home, your family & friends. You will be thankful to be in a familiar place, among loved ones. There you will share your journey, perhaps over a glass of wine, a good meal, and your journey is what will have made you rich…not the destination. My friends, this is what “Ithaka” means: it is all about the journey.
Our family is happy to serve you, your family and friends. Her, In Ithaka, you will enjoy classic Greek comfort foods prepared with love. Mama Maria and our aunts work tirelessly in our kitchen to create delicious family recipes. We offer the largest selection of premium Greek wines, as well as beer from Greek microbreweries on Vancouver Island. We provide warm friendly service, we have smashed a plate or two on a special occasion, and occasionally – when the “kefi’” to celebrate our journey hit us – we perform a Zorba’s Dance.