Photo provided by Kalamata Kitchen

Marion Street is about to get a new restaurant, Kalamata Kitchen, which will take the place of two storefronts on Marion Street – Taylor’s Gifts & Bonsai and the shuttered King & I Thai Restaurant, both located at 105 N. Marion St.

Kalamata Kitchen co-owner Gus Karahalios said in a telephone interview that the 3,450-square-foot restaurant will feature Mediterranean-style cuisine, a bar with a DJ, coffee and hookahs. He expects the restaurant to seat about 150 people.

Construction of Kalamata will begin in the next 30 days after Taylor’s closes up shop. The new restaurant is a family business and will be co-owned and operated by Karahalios and his parents, Ilias and Christina Karahalios.

Gus Karahalios said the family chose the location because that strip of Marion Street “reminds me of Europe, so I felt a Greek restaurant was needed with the quality of food we’re going to provide that I don’t see around there.”

The restaurant is named after his family’s home city of Kalamata, Greece, he said. “We’re from Kalamata – that’s where the black olives come from,” Karahalios said.

Rotisserie lamb and chicken will be displayed prominently for passersby, and Kalamata will offer al fresco seating with hookahs.

Patrons on the go will be able to purchase kabob sticks, gyros and more from a walk-up window along Marion Street, Karahalios said.

He plans to have the restaurant up and running in September.

Karahalios said his family has owned several restaurants and nightclubs over the years. They currently own Lollipop Lounge nightclub at 9823 Lawrence Ave. in Schiller Park and World on Wheels, a roller-skating rink in Los Angeles.

Karahalios said they’re bringing the roller-rink concept to Chicago under the name Rolling Dough – the spot will feature pizza and roller skating.

David King, president of Oak Park-based commercial real estate firm David King & Associates, who brokered the deal, said the new restaurant will be an “exciting addition” to downtown Oak Park.


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