Atlanta Greek restaurant Taverna Plaka closing this fall after 20 years

Dishes from the menu of Taverna Plaka. / Courtesy of Taverna Plaka

Credit: Courtesy of Taverna Plaka

Credit: Courtesy of Taverna Plaka

Dishes from the menu of Taverna Plaka. / Courtesy of Taverna Plaka

Atlanta Greek restaurant Taverna Plaka will close its doors this fall after 20 years on Cheshire Bridge Road.

The Nov. 4 closure was announced on the restaurant’s Instagram account:

Owner Scott Duke, who bought Taverna Plaka in 2014 from original owner Ray Pace, said the landlord decided to sell the building at 2196 Cheshire Bridge Road where the restaurant is housed.

Taverna Plaka’s entire staff will be absorbed by the Colonnade, the iconic restaurant located down the road where Duke has served as general manager for about a year.

Taverna Plaka opened in 2003, with Yiannis Kasarhis as general manager. Kasarhis’ wife, Maria, served as the restaurant’s opening chef, serving up dishes including stuffed calamari with three cheeses, parsley and tomatoes; lamb chops grilled on the wood fire; chicken, pork, lamb and beef souvlaki; fish; and chicory greens.

For those looking for something off the beaten path, Atlanta has plenty of options. On Saturday nights, Taverna Plaka turns from a mild-mannered Greek restaurant into a place where belly dancers, and bar patrons, show off their moves atop the tables.

Credit: Jenni Girtman / AJC

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Credit: Jenni Girtman / AJC

The restaurant also became known for its belly dancers, dancing customers, late-night parties with a DJ and its “napkin throws,” an homage to residents of Greece throwing drachma before the Euro was adopted as the country’s official currency, according to Duke.

Plaka is named for the oldest section of Athens, below the Acropolis, an area containing the Agora (marketplace), where, as myth would have it, the gods cavorted.

While Duke said “there’s always a chance” Taverna Plaka might reopen in a new location, for now, he’s focusing on the Colonnade and his fond memories of running his restaurant for almost a decade.

“It’s been an interesting road and I’ve made a ton of friends over the years,” he said. “All the guests and staff have been wonderful.”

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