A celebrated Triangle-area restaurateur will open the doors to his new Wilmington restaurant on Saturday, starting at 5 p.m.
Kipos Hellenic Cuisine, the first venture of Giorgios Bakatsias and his Giorgios Hospitality Group (GHG) outside the Triangle area, occupies the space at 1900 Eastwood Road that formerly housed 1900 Restaurant & Lounge. The new Lumina Station restaurant is a riff on Bakatsias’ popular Kipos Greek Taverna in Chapel Hill, with many of the same favorites on the menu but with what the company calls “an intentional focus on the sea.”
At the helm of Kipos' kitchen is chef George Delidimos, a native of Thessaloniki, Greece. He “boasts a sincere love for seafood and a significant culinary training in Greece and with GHG,” according to a news release Thursday. Most recently, Delidimos served as co-chef at Kipos Greek Taverna for two years alongside Bakatsias’ sister Olga, and was also part of the original opening team in 2013.
Delidimos began his culinary career at a Swiss Culinary Institute in Athens, Greece after he completed his military obligations serving as a cook in the Greek Armed Forces. He apprenticed in kitchens across Greece and Europe before arriving in the U.S. and finding a home with the Giorgios Hospitality Group.
Kipos will be open Tuesday-Sundays from 5 to 9 p.m. and on Saturdays until 10 p.m.
Diners can expect Greek mainstays like avgolemono soup, spanakopita and moussaka, but also “an abundance of seafood, with 80% or more being sourced locally,” according to a news release. Seafood entrees will include items like wood-grilled grouper, pan-seared black bass, North Carolina shrimp and pan-fried flounder.
The wine menu will feature Greek wines along with a selection of vintages from around the world.
Bakatsias grew up in the Greek village of Karista, located on the Aegean coast. He learned to garden and cook with his mother, and both disciplines helped form his choice of life pursuit. The Greek word “kipos” means garden, and Bakatsias’ design for his new restaurant features a lushly planted garden and a partially covered patio surrounding the building.
Bakatsias immigrated to the U.S. with his family when he was 12, and began his culinary career at age 23.
"We are really excited to bring our love for the coastal cooking of Greece to Wilmington," Bakatsias said in an announcement released Tuesday.
REES Architecture PC and J.R. Connette Building and Development carried out Bakatsias' design for the new restaurant.
GHG owns a host of restaurants in the Triangle area. Kipos Hellenic Cuisine is not its only new venture this year: The group has also announced the openings of East End Bistrot, Giorgio Pizza Bar and Las Ramblas in Raleigh as well as Krill in Durham. Bakatsias is a James Beard Foundation “Outstanding Restaurateur” nominee and this year was named “Restaurateur of the Year” by the N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association.