As you pull into the parking lot just outside of Mykonos Greek Restaurant, you sense the uniqueness of this local treasure. The restaurant, built by owner Jim Pantoleon 19 years ago, is a special place for family and friends to enjoy a great meal. As I enter, I’m struck by the grandeur of the atrium-like feel and large chandelier. I glance to the right and see the bar and lounge area bustling with guests getting ready to watch the football game. The room is equipped with multiple televisions and patrons can enjoy the full menu while they sit at the bar.
Just a few minutes from downtown Bellingham, Mykonos Greek Restaurant provides a warm family setting with Mediterranean, Greek and American comfort food offerings that are easily accessible. With something for everyone in your family, it’s the perfect place to go for a special meal or night out. Plus – parking is free!
Truly a family business, Jim’s son Alex has many memories at Mykonos. “I remember being 15 years old and washing dishes,” he recalls. “It can be long and hard work, but I really enjoy the customers. I really like interacting with them and making sure they have the best possible experience in our restaurant.”
Irv Benson, a waiter and bar manager, is another one of the many employees that have been with Mykonos a long time. “They built this place around me,” he says with a laugh. “I’ve been here since the beginning.”
“I’ve grown up with a lot of these people here,” says Alex. He recently began managing the restaurant full-time as his father transitions into “taking a break,” as he humorously refers to it. “He likes to work,” Alex says with a shrug of his shoulders and a smile. “He’s worked all of his life.”
Cooking and the restaurant industry are definitely in the family blood. Alex tells the story of his father’s journey from Tripoli to North America; he first settled in Toronto before coming to Washington. Working sometimes 20 hours a day and more than one job, Jim saved up until he could afford to relocate his entire family to this country.
Voted Gold for International Cuisine in the 2017 Best of the Northwest, Mykonos delivers high quality food that is both delicious and authentic. “We make great food,” says Alex. His father is still the cook, lending his many years of expertise to this important job he is passing to his son.
The high columns in Mykonos make it feel as if you’re actually in Greece. As you settle into your meal, you’ll be amazed at the attention to detail. The space feels cozy but not cramped or confined, and the restaurant’s commitment to customer service is noticeable the moment you approach the hostess station. With ample seating, there’s room for active families with kids to enjoy a delectable meal of artichoke chicken or scrumptious lamb. The vast menu offers fantastic choices – sure to please even the pickiest eater. Each item includes a hearty amount of food perfect for a night out with your favorite person.
Sitting in the bar and lounge, you find an immediate sense of comradery among the many patrons enjoying the daily specials and watching the game. “We do big things for our customers on special events like the Super Bowl,” says Alex. “There are a lot of perks for our regulars and a raucous crowd is in here for every Seahawks game.”
Mykonos is now teaming up with Costco Wholesale in Bellingham to offer a package of two $50 gift cards for a special price of $79. It’s the perfect way to introduce the restaurant to friends and family or even take yourself out for a great meal. And to make it even more convenient, if you prefer to stay in, Viking Foods can deliver tasty food from Mykonos Restaurant right to your door.
As I finish my dinner at the restaurant, I think back on my experience with Alex Pantoleon; the story of a family dedicated to and passionate about food is inspiring. Moreover, their love is evident in the warm environment they create and delicious food they prepare.
If you’re in search of great Mediterranean and Greek cuisine, be sure to check out Mykonos Greek Restaurant in Bellingham.