Comings & Goings: Mama’s Greek Couzina opening in Aurora
Marissa Amoni email@example.com August 16, 2012 5:48PM
Dena and Paris Betoglou will soon start cooking Greek delights at Mama's Greek Couzina at 1118 Prairie St. on Aurora's West Side. | Submitted
Updated: November 22, 2012 10:55PM
Dena Stratikis and Paris Betoglou will be in Greek heaven at the end of this month, and so will their customers, when Mama’s Greek Couzina opens on Aurora’s West Side.
The couple will take a short break from their duties at Dena’s Sewing Room, only two doors to the east, to open the restaurant in late August. Dena opened the sewing shop in September 2010 and said it is her lifeline, but cooking is in her blood.
“It’s deep inside my heart,” she said of opening up a restaurant again.
Dena ran Andrianna’s Café for about seven years at 1118 Prairie St. Prisco’s Next Door, and Vic’s and Rick’s BBQ both briefly occupied the spot.
Dena happens to be the landlord of the strip mall, so when the storefront on the west end became available several months ago, she said opening up a restaurant was definitely in the back of her mind. When a couple of prospective tenants didn’t work out, she just couldn’t stop it from happening.
“I shouldn’t have done it, but when something is in your blood and your desire for doing it (is strong), you think, ‘I can do it.’ ‘It’s no problem,’” Dena said about opening up the restaurant with her husband, Paris.
Paris will do a lot of the cooking at Mama’s Greek Couzina, so Dena can keep up with her sewing business. They’ll also have some help from family members.
Dena said the restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner and feature Greek specialty items on the menu, such as homemade yogurt with fruit and honey. It’ll be a casual and welcoming sit-down restaurant with a Mediterranean feel.
“We’ll definitely have traditional baklava,” Dena said. She added that they’ll also have her popular chicken salad on homemade bread.
Mama’s Greek Couzina hopes to open by the end of August. Dena said they’ll have an official grand opening in October. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
New York Buffet and Steakhouse at 451 N. Commons Drive appears to be shuttered after posting signs that they were closed for remodeling. Lease signs are up on the building and the phone number goes to an unidentified voicemail.
The steakhouse lived a short life as the revamped New York Buffet and Steakhouse after several years as Ponderosa. Many locals, including me, have fond memories of Ponderosa and the all-you-can-eat buffet.
In its brief existence, New York Buffet and Steakhouse ran a Facebook page with 33 likes.
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