Enjoy Greek cuisine in a new and historic venue.
Jefferson City does not have a shortage of Greek dining, but Theo’s Midtown brings a new and unique flavor for many reasons.
Location, Location, Location
Theo’s owner, Ted Mastrogiannis, had his eye on the property that now houses his restaurant for a very long time. “Many years ago, right after the flood, I always thought it was a shame there was nothing happening in this area,” he says. “It’s centrally located, you don’t have the craziness of downtown, there’s great parking, so I thought it was a perfect area. Even back then, I thought this would be really cool. So later down the road, a buddy of ours told us that there was a possibility here. My father and I sat down and talked — screamed a little, yelled a little — and it panned out to what we have now. We are very proud and fortunate. It was a no brainer. Where else are you going to find property this close to everything?”
The building was once a bus stop, but you would never know (except for the one detail left after renovation: a red wall boldly proclaiming “Jefferson City Bus Stop”).
“Three people were involved in the design of this place: my father, myself, and Keith Lesko,” says Mastrogiannis. “I knew what I wanted everything to look like, my father had the experience to know how to build things, and Keith helped us with the design, details, and how to elevate everything to the desired effect. We want this to be an ‘everybody cave.’”
‘If It’s Not Broke, Don’t Fix It’
Mastrogiannis is a master Greek chef. Classically trained, he has experience in other types of cuisines, but “when you have the mother cuisine, you stick with it,” he says. “Stick with what you know.”
The menu consists of classic Greek favorites including gyros, Greek salads, and saganaki, as well as Theo’s specialties. Diners can’t seem to get enough of Theo’s Greek fries or the unique Reub’s pizza.
Nearly everything you order at Theo’s is made in-house. One exception is their baklava. But don’t worry, it’s still homemade by the Mastrogiannis matriarch . . . just not at Theo’s Midtown.
Everything can be ordered for carryout as well. “A lot of people don’t know we have carryout,” says Mastrogiannis. “We want our bread to be the carry out and our butter to be dining in. At some point we want to establish catering and possibly some very localized delivery.”
And before it gets too cold, enjoy the huge outdoor seating area. “We have just as much seating inside as out,” says Mastrogiannis. “We have one of the larger outside patios in the city. We want to utilize that space as much as possible.”
Come next spring, the team at Theo’s plans to make good use of their patio by hosting parties, events, and more.
A Family Affair
Mastrogiannis’ father, Alex (owner of Alexandro’s), brings his experience to Theo’s as well.
“We’re a family business, and we’re proud of what we’re doing,” says Mastrogiannis. Watching he and his father working together is a treat. Their dynamic is full of humor, but with an intensity that shows how much this business means to them.
“We want to put out a quality product,” Theo says. “I am extremely pro-local. I want every local business to succeed. We need to put money back into the community.” This was one of the driving forces behind the opening of Theo’s Midtown: serving the community through food and economic development but also personal growth.
“Years after working for my folks, it was time,” Theo says. “There wasn’t any other avenue that I knew I was this good at. It was time to move on and build something for myself.”