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An Eastern Mediterranean Oasis Opens in the South End

Updated: May 17, 2022

Ilona is now in business, with colorful booths and a diverse wine list

A restaurant full of Eastern Mediterranean fare is now open in Boston’s South End. Ilona (783 Tremont St., Boston) opened in the former Parish Cafe restaurant space during the last week of June, and the team behind it has deep roots in the neighborhood.

Irakli Gogitidze and George Axiotis of Kava Neo-Taverna and Puro Ceviche Bar (Axiotis is also behind New York Pizza) took over the Parish Cafe space last August after owner Gordon Wilcox decided to close; he has kept the original Back Bay location of Parish Cafe (361 Boylston St., Boston) open. Kava and New York Pizza are both in the South End; Puro is nearby in Back Bay.

Gogitidze and Axiotis transformed the space at the corner of Tremont Street and Massachusetts Avenue, bringing in bold colors and designs and working with muralist Giorgi Shanidze, who also painted the eye-catching mural of a Greek grandfather inside Kava.

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