July 28, at a Tri-Chamber ribbon cutting for Mount Dora, Eustis and Tavares, longtime-area restauranteur John McKinney unveiled his newest venture. Dozens of attendees shared the stage during the ribbon cutting of his Olympia Banquets and Event Facility. The venue is located at 2728 West Old Highway 441 in the Golden Triangle Shopping Center in Mount Dora.
McKinney has been involved in the restaurant business in Lake County since the 1990s. Many Lake County diners will know him as the former owner-operator of both the Lampu Japanese Steakhouse and KiKu Japanese Steakhouse in Mount Dora. In addition to his new business in the Golden Triangle Shopping Plaza, McKinney still owns and operates his Kiku Japanese Steakhouse in its current Eustis location in the David Walker Publix Plaza.
McKinney has lived in Lake County, he says, for 50 years. He has lived in Eustis, is a graduate of Mount Dora High School, and has a son who graduated from Tavares High School. He says that with those roots, he is definitely connected to the entire area. That is also why a Golden Triangle location appealed to him. “Olympia is right here, where I have spent most of my life, near all three places.”
Although he says his wife feels he is at a point in his life where he should begin to slow down, McKinney feels otherwise. “Let me tell you, coming from a small town in Southeast Asia, to come over here – well this is the land of opportunity that we have here. We decided one day to put this together for the last leg of our life. We’re here in Lake County with Kiku and we think this is something the area needs.”
“We will do many different things here. We will do little kids’ parties, weddings, musical functions – all different types of events. We can hold 600-700 people here,” McKinney said. The venue has multiple bar/service locations throughout as well as a stage and dance floor.
Melissa DeMarco, Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)