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The Love Story Behind Bistro Atlantis

Soul mates Steve and Penny Tingas open a Mediterranean fusion restaurant.

Steve Tingas was practically raised in his father’s restaurant, the Olympia in Lowell, MA. Each year that he got older, he took on more responsibilities in the business, working his way up until he was running the place.

But this story starts on a day when Tingas was a 26-year-old manager at the Olympia and a 19-year-old girl named Penny walked in the door looking for a serving job. His life changed that day, even though it would be decades before he would make her his wife.

“We were just friends,” Tingas tells me over lunch at his new Dunedin restaurant . ”But there was also something else, a spark, between us.”  

The young waitress moved away, got married and had a family. Tingas, still working at his father’s restaurant, married and started a family of his own. 

Seventeen years later, the two met again, this time as divorcees. “We are soul mates,” Tingas continues. “I wouldn’t change a thing because we have been together for eternity.” Tingas looks over at his wife, they smile and I can tell they are sharing a thought.

In November 2010, the couple moved to Dunedin, their favorite vacation spot in Florida. “But we missed restaurant life,” Tingas says. They found the perfect spot for a restaurant at 1140 Main St. (between Pinehurst Road and Patricia Avenue), in the space that was formerly . (Walt and opened .)

The couple opened Bistro Atlantis on July 5.

“We wanted to open something small and intimate, while keeping the casual fine-dining tradition that people enjoyed at Walt’s,” Tingas tells me. “Our menu fuses traditional Grecian cuisine with new-world tastes and local flare.” 

I ask how it is working with his wife.

“We run the business together, we cook together, we come up with recipes together. We love being with each other all day,” Tingas says.  

Aside from running a business together, the couple are strong supporters of the local arts. The restuarant walls display the work of artist Jason Leigh. And musicians play two days a week. On Tuesdays, harpist Jessica Cardwell plays from 6 to 9 p.m., and on Fridays classical guitarist Steven Warren plays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Looking for something new to love? People are raving about the Shrimp Atlantis at Bistro Atlantis. Try it and then review it on Dunedin Patch.

  • Where: Bistro Atlantis, 1140 Main St.
  • Contact: 727-733-1909 or www.bistroatlantis.com
  • Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday 

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