It's hard to count just how many local restaurant's closed down through the recession. Definitely, more than a couple.
For the businesses that survived, fortunately, things are looking up.
Except for Coral Spring's Mythos Greek Taverna. After weathering the storm of the worst recession since the Great Depression, the locally owned restaurant was summarily kicked out of the storefront it occupied for nearly ten years in favor of a large chain.
Clean Plate Charlie spoke to owner Gil Sternbach about the closing and possible relocation.
Due to possible legal implications, Sternbach declines to speak about just how and why he is being forced out and he cannot say for certain what 'big chain' is being brought in. What he can say is that, after nine years of operation in the Walk of Coral Springs, his restaurant closed up shop and shut its doors forever at the end of April.
"We never had any intention of leaving that space," said Sternbach,"But we had to liquidate everything."
Known for its authentic Mediterranean cuisine and weekend entertainment--belly dancers and music--the Coral Springs spot drew crowds from across South Florida. The space in the Walk had a unique set up with separate dining room and private banquet room, as well as a large outdoor patio, complete with fountains and large, accessible parking lot.
"People would drive an hour to dine at Mythos," said Sternbach, "We were extremely grateful for that."
With the closure of the restaurant, its 25 employees lost their jobs, some of whom had been working at Mythos since it opened in 2004. While he was saddened to see them go, Sternbach, who sits on the Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce Board of Trustees was able to successfully place most of his staff in new positions at nearby businesses.
While Sternbach is actively searching for a new location, he's hitting some roadblocks in his efforts.
"I have a commercial broker looking for space and we're exploring venues," he said. "But I want to find the right venue to recreate the space and ambience that our customers enjoyed. We seated 220 guests, so we're not small. I would consider smaller, but I've looked at larger locations as well. You've got to be unique to differentiate yourself."
Although Sternbach is involved in the community of Coral Springs--not only through the Chamber of Commerce, but charitable efforts, as well--he concedes that he may have to stray from his hometown. Few places in the area offer the unique environment that Mythos called home.
Overall Sternbach is disappointed with the outcome. Not only did he lose out financially, but he's saddened by his forced departure from the community in which he and the restaurant were so closely involved.
"I live here," said Sternbach, "I raise my children here. The community loses at the end of the day when a supportive business goes down."
In the meantime, Sternbach is still holding out for the ideal new location.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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