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After an eventful drive, we finally entered Moraitika and what a shock! We hardly recognised it. However we knew, the Taverna we stayed at all those years ago was still there; somewhere all we had to do was find it. We knew it was on the main road, but back then there were very few buildings, now there was hardly a gap!
Suddenly, there it was in all its glory, Jimmy’s Taverna, or was it? We parked the car, and walk the few steps towards the front of the building. Things looked different, a roofing over the veranda (that wasn’t there 31 years ago; there was even a bar on the veranda! But where were the olive groves where we used to walk through down to the wonderful beach?
It has changed dramatically, but that’s progress I guess. We strolled up the steps on to the veranda where we were greeted by Kostas. Now after all this time there would be no way he could remember us, albeit we remembered him. We were mistaken he did, maybe a couple of meeting back home had helped, but never the less he was very pleased to see us.
Jimmy’s Taverna (or as it was back in our day Jimmy’s Bar), named after Kostas’s father Jimmy, has been in the Capuas family since 1969. Tavernas were not just a place of business, they were a home; a home where friends came to eat, sleep and yes of course drink throughout an evening of welcome entertainment. We recalled many a night slaving over a few beers and shots of Metaxa, being entertained by Kostas dancing on a table whilst balancing a full glass on his head!
Yes you were made to feel part of their family and many tourists would return year after year because of this. Then the big hotels moved in but still they were able to coexist. Sadly though, during a conversation with Kostas over a splendid lunch (and a nice cold beer), we were told that the hotels started to take over. Even though, the Tavernas could still offer you that friendly family feeling, the attractive swimming pools and all inclusive deals started to bite.
Many more hotels sprang up, but not necessarily good ones. Eventually, the tourists voted with their feet so Corfu, once one of the major holiday resorts, is struggling to attract us all back. Additionally and in recent years the Euro, well more to the point EU, hasn’t helped either. The cost of living and taxation has risen precipitously resulting in higher costs for not only the locals but us tourists too. But to be fair, this is the same of all holiday destinations across the EU, so don’t be put off by this.
Well back to Jimmy’s, it was an incredible reunion and we are glad we made the effort. We even popped down to the beach, via what’s left of the olive groves we managed to find! These Taverna’s need new life, okay they’re not 4/5 star establishments, few of them have swimming pools, but they still offer that friendly family environment where you are part of that family. They offer rooms from as little as 8 euro’s a night. Like Kostas and his wife Alexis they want that family atmosphere back, they are born hosts, and that’s all they want to do. So if you want a cheap stay, why not consider a Taverna . 31 years ago, we did and we loved it! And by the way, Kostas can still do it, he gave us a private showing of the bottle on the head dance, a masterpiece!
Sadly Jimmy is no longer with us, but his legacy lives on; but for how long? Finally it would be wrong of me to advertise Jimmy’s Taverna details, but if anyone would like these, I would be happy to pass them on. We hope we can get back there to stay very soon, it may not be the Ritz but we know we’ll have a great break.
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Completely agree with all you say about the Tavernas. We have been visiting the Cricketers in Liapades for the past 24 years and no matter where we go in the World we still have to return for our annual Liapades Injection.
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Thank you so much for your story Robin of your return trip to old pastures. It is sad when one realises things have changed, but such is life and it progress. Somethiing we cannot avoid sadly. It is always good, however it is achieved, to be recognised by someone, even after such a long period. It really does give you feeling of being wanted, with such friendly gestures. Wonderful story. Look forward to more.
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First and foremost Welcome to the Corfu web site & Forums, :good2:
I must say what a fantastic story, and after 31 years and all those memories were reignited.
I don't know if you have a few pictures from back then and maybe a couple from this visit, maybe you could upload to the gallery so everyone could see
what Jimmys looked like 31 years ago to what it looks like now.
I will take a trip to Jimmys in August, as we only stay down the road in Messonghi.
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