Olympia Restaurant has been serving the community in Lindsay (and beyond!) in one way or another since 1906.
“It’s always been a family run business and it still is” said Nicki Karkabasis-Dedes, who alongside her husband Kostas and her two kids, Nikes and Christina, took over the business from her father most recently.
If you go back to 1906 – and the Dedes’ have photos and memorabilia lining the walls of their restaurant that prove this – you’ll see the original owners were Tony and Andreas Bakogeorge. These industrious brothers had a sweet tooth. Together, they created The Olympia Candy Works. Tony opened the Lindsay location, while Andreas opened a similar shop in Barrie. As their business grew, they expanded into ice cream and other treats. Some locals still remember the ice cream trucks branded proudly chugging along the streets of Lindsay.
By 1930, the second owners, the Tozios family remodeled it into THE OLYMPIA TEA ROOM. The war had ended but money was tight across the community. The Tozios added a kitchen and focused on hardier, salt-of-the-earth fare to keep the doors open.
“They would serve chicken and potatoes, soup, that kind of thing – people weren’t splurging on ice cream the same way” explains Nicki.
In 1980, the third owners, the Karkabasis family took over. They rejigged the name to be Olympia Restaurant and started serving traditional Greek food. The locals loved it and it’s been that way ever since. Nicki would help around the restaurant waiting tables and cleaning up. “I can still see where the old floor ended and remember where the windows used to be” says Nicki.
Her and her husband, Kostas, took over the business over a decade ago. They gave the room a facelift – but the food and roots remain the same. They serve quality Greek food and strive to source the best ingredients for all their dishes. That might mean locally made feta cheese or beautiful, briny black olives from groves in Greece.
On the menu you’ll find classics like saganaki – a pan-fried Greek cheese call kefalotiri, tzatziki – a Greek yogurt and cucumber dip, and Dolmades (pictured) – fermented grape vine leaves stuffed with rice and herbs.
You’ll also find familiar dishes like chicken or lamb souvlaki, chicken parmigiano and a selection of burgers and steaks. There’s also a number of seafood selections on offer including Shrimp Santorini – a pasta dish made with jumbo shrimp, tomato, basil, garlic and feta. It’s one of Nicki’s favorites.
Lindsay has supported Olympia for decades and that support isn’t stopping any time soon.
“We’re been so fortunate to have so much community support – Lindsay is a community. It’s changing and growing so quickly, we’re glad to be a part of that” says Nicki.
So, where does Nicki and her husband eat when they’re not in the restaurant?
“Kountry Kitchen across the street – the food is good and they’re really lovely people.”
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This content was created with support from Kawarthas Northumberland. For more ways to eat, stay and play in Kawarthas Northumberland, visit: kawarthasnorthumberland.ca. Follow @PerfectWknds on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.