ANN ARBOR, MI – John Roumanis, owner of Mediterrano, 2900 South State Street in Ann Arbor, spoke with The National Herald about the restaurant, how it was affected by the pandemic, and about his olive oil.
He told TNH: “There is no question that COVID was devastating for the restaurant business. Surprisingly, the last few weeks I feel hopeful. There are signs of coming back.”
Roumanis continued, “Mediterrano, as you can imagine, is a Mediterranean restaurant with a long history in the Ann Arbor area. We opened 25 years ago and the olive oil was part of its success.”
“The olive oil comes directly from my village and area of Monemvasia in Laconia, Greece. The olive oil is necessary for my restaurant and I sell it as well,” he said.
When asked where the olive oil is available for purchase, Roumanis told TNH that “although it’s possible to ship anywhere, my effort is focused on selling it on the premises.”
Roumanis was born in Metamorphosis, a small village in the Southern Peloponnese region of Greece, and experienced the beauty of a simple, agricultural lifestyle. He was raised on a Mediterranean diet, rich with olive oil, fish, and abundant fruits and vegetables. From a young age, he learned to appreciate a fresh, nutritious diet that included all things in moderation.
At the age of 18, Roumanis came to Ann Arbor to pursue higher education. While working on his studies, he also worked in the hospitality business. The industry’s long hours, sometimes seven days a week, offered invaluable training and he soon gained the skills he would need to eventually run his own restaurant.
From age 18 to 43, Roumanis gained experience and mastery in the restaurant industry, working as a Food and Beverage Manager for the Hyatt Corporation, later as a partner of a seafood restaurant in California, and after that as a managing partner for the Cottage Inn restaurant group. With a wealth of experiences and the support and advice of family, friends, and mentors throughout his professional career, Roumanis decided to pursue his dream of opening his own restaurant. In 1995, he accomplished this long-awaited goal with the opening of Mediterrano. His vision for Mediterrano was to share the rich Mediterranean diet he was raised on, along with friendly, genuine, and helpful service for the customers throughout their dining experience.
The menu features classic Greek dishes, including octopus, spanakopita, and lamb chops, but also dishes from the wider Mediterranean region, such as the Italian bread salad, panzanella, and minestrone soup, and Spanish favorites patatas bravas and four versions of paella served for two.
Since Mediterrano’s opening in 1995, Roumanis opened several other establishments. In 2003, he opened La Piazza, an extension of Mediterrano, which specializes in hosting private dining, banquets, and meetings. In 2006, Roumanis opened Carlyle Grill, which offers American and international favorites at the highest standard. In addition to restaurants, he launched Roumanis Imports, through which he makes olive oil, produced directly in his hometown village of Metamorphosis, available to the greater Ann Arbor community.
More information about Mediterrano is available by phone: 734-332-9700 and online: https://mediterrano.com.
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 11 AM-9 PM, Friday 11 AM-10 PM, Saturday 12-10 PM, Sunday 4-8 PM.