Iconic Portuguese chicken eatery Romados officially reopens today after a months-long hiatus and a mid-pandemic closure announcement that left piri piri-adoring fans thinking: Come on, now this?
But the indelible Montreal restaurant at the corner of Rachel and De Bullion swings its doors back open to the public today, with some fresh ownership at the helm.
New owner George Karaglanis tells Eater that staff has been training all week and carried out a soft-opening yesterday. He confirms today as the official opening day and says he’s already seeing a positive response.
Karaglanis, who’s running the rotisserie with his wife Vicki Eliopoulos, previously told Eater that, new owners aside, “Nothing is going to change. Everything is staying the same.”
It’s a promise they said they could keep because they’d managed to bring back several of the restaurant’s former employees, including its pastry chef. In fact, Karaglanis himself used to manage the place for three years, up until its last day of operation in December 2020.
Romados founder Fernando Machado opened the family-run restaurant, which initially skewed more bakery than rotisserie, in 1994. He was then succeeded by his son Manny Machado, who this past June announced that it would be permanently closing via a comment appearing on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Then, in an unexpected twist, Karaglanis and Eliopoulos told Eater in August that they’d decided to revive the Montreal staple, beloved for its smokey, charcoal-grilled bird and sweet custard-filled tarts (“pastéis de nata,” in Portuguese). They’ve since debuted a slick new website, created an alternate Facebook page and Instagram account, and given the old space a facelift — all that’s left now is to wait and see whether Montrealers will flock back.
Romados is open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 115 Rachel East.