What’s New At Manoli’s?

Praise be, a local favorite fine dining spot is flourishing after a flooding disaster last year

“It’s raining inside the restaurant.” 

No business owner wants to get that phone call. Especially not at 7 a.m., on the day before New Year’s Eve, during the salt lake city restaurant’s busiest time of year. “It was just pouring,” Manoli Katsanevas remembers he and his co-owner/pastry chef Katrina Cutrubus arriving at his eponymous restaurant, Manoli’s, just a few minutes after the frantic call from a prep cook. “Water was gushing out of the ceilings. The drywall looked like it was bubbling.” 

Fortunately, their plumber and landlord quickly shut off the water, discovering that a pipe in the business upstairs had burst overnight. Unfortunately, the damage to both the restaurant’s signature open kitchen, as well as the prep galley in the basement, rang in at a cool $250K. 

To add even more pressure to the aftermath of this disaster, they were recognized in January with a coveted James Beard Foundation award semifinalist nomination in the national category of “Outstanding Hospitality,” but without a restaurant open to promote that well-deserved point of pride. And, they were already slated to host onsite events and provide catering for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game in February. 

“So, yeah, that was pretty nuts,” says Katsanevas with Oscar-worthy understatement. “But we have an amazing landlord, had really good insurance and a contractor who got us on the schedule right away.”

Even with these odds in their favor, Katsanevas and Cutrubus pulled a massive pivot to their plans in the interim. “Obviously, we couldn’t do any of the NBA events at the restaurant, so we rented out the Greek Church and catered out of there,” he says of their temporary base at the historic downtown Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Between catering jobs and reupping some pandemic-era favorites like take-and-bake meals and gyros to-go, they were able to keep all of their staff through the July 2023 reopening.

And optimistically, they decided that when life gives you lemons, why not make ouzo-spiked lemonade? Along with designer Rachel Hodson, they made some strategic design choices to the ground-up remodel that kept the feel of that quintessentially Manoli’s hospitable and elegantly warm welcome, with just a little bit more of it.  

salt lake city restaurants

More seating in the now-enclosed patio creates year-round usable space and a perfect place for hosting private events. (Don’t worry, the massive slider windows still make you feel like you’re sitting outside during a sunny Saturday or Sunday brunch.) More full-bar swagger, with expanded storage for their fabulous all-Greek natural wine selection taking center stage. And overall, about 40% more seating capacity in the still airy-feeling restaurant.

Aiding and abetting the much-lauded expansion, the Manoli’s team recently purchased a spot six doors west of the restaurant, which they’re calling Parea (Greek for “in good company”). Serving as both as the dairy and a supplemental kitchen for Manoli’s, Parea will also house a neighborhood market—specializing in their heavenly house-made Greek yogurt and cheeses, along with gyros and popular take-and-bake items like spanakopita—slated to open later in 2024. 

All of which gives us, the very happy diners of SLC, even more reason to be glad that the consistently superlative dining experience of Manoli’s is back. And it’s better than ever.   

Manoli’s

402 East Harvey Milk Blvd (900 South) #2, Salt Lake City
(801) 532-3760, Manolis9th.com


Looking for more foodie inspiration? Discover food traditions from the families behind some of our favorite Salt Lake City restaurants, here!

Darby Doyle
Darby Doyle
Darby Doyle is a food, beverage, and outdoor writer who covers the culinary and natural wonders of the American West. She’s freelanced for a passel of print and digital publications, and her stories featuring Utah’s bar and restaurant scene have won multiple journalism awards. When not reminiscing about great meals shared with friends, you’ll find Darby camping, fly fishing or hunting with her family, or lounging in her overgrown garden with a good book and a Boulevardier.

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