Kelowna restaurant landmark up in flames

Kelowna restaurant landmark up in flames

Fire started at the rear of building that houses Olympia Greek Taverna in Rutland

The Olympia Greek Taverna in Rutland has suffered extensive fire damage Tuesday night after flames were spotted by staff members at the rear of their building.

The exact extent of the damage was unknown as of midnight as Kelowna firefighters were on scene with multiple trucks attacking the fire from the front and the rear of the restaurant, located at 145 Highway 33.

An Olympia waiter and another staff member were playing cards in the restaurant after closing hours Tuesday night when they started smelling smoke shortly after 10 p.m.

When they opened the back door of the restaurant, they were confronted by flames burning up to the roof.

While there is speculation the fire might be arson or due to electrical issues, an exact cause of the blaze has not yet been determined.

Olympia Greek Taverna is a landmark business in the Rutland commercial core of Kelowna, having celebrated its 45th anniversary at the Highway 33 location in 2018.

Prior to that, the restaurant had been located for five years on Bernard Avenue in downtown Kelowna.

A family business that has spanned three generations, Olympia is currently owned by brothers Mike and Chris Koutsantonis.

Their father and uncle originally opened the restaurant at the Bernard location before seizing what they felt was a better business opportunity to relocate in Rutland.

Watch for more updates on kelownacapnews.com.