Kanella South closes, but owners say it's temporary

Konstantinos Pitsillides and Caroline Christian at their Kanella South, 757 S. Front St.

Kanella South, the Cypriot destination in Queen Village, has been closed by the city over a business-tax debt, but owners Konstantinos Pitsillides and Caroline Christian say it’s temporary, as they have found an investor to infuse cash and help with operations.

The restaurant, at 757 S. Front St., opened in fall 2015 as a fancier sibling of Kanella Grill, the partners’ long-running BYOB at 10th and Spruce Streets. “The transition from a sweet, little corner to a much larger restaurant was much more than we had anticipated,” Christian said.

She said the city wanted $30,000 as part of a larger tax bill. The city affixed a cease-operations notice on the door Wednesday. City officials generally do not disclose tax debts during negotiations.

As part of its reopening — which Christian said would be as soon as possible — Kanella South would employ a financial officer to better mind the books and to boost promotions. Pitsillides’ menu also would be refined with more small plates to allow patrons to build their meals, rather than set courses.

At Kanella Grill — which is a separate business and is unaffected by the closing — a new chef has been named: Justino Jimenez, who worked for many years for the Vetri organization. Hours there will expand to 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday, and brunch is being revived.