Miami restaurant donates profits to relief effort in Greece

South Florida diners pack Mandolin Aegean Bistro for special cause

MIAMI – It's one of the hottest restaurants on the South Florida food scene. But Tuesday night Mandolin Aegean Bistro shined for its generosity, donating the evening's profits to the relief effort in Greece after last week's devastating wildfires. 

On any given night, Mandolin Aegean Bistro in Miami's Design District is packed with South Florida foodies who flock there for the delicious Greco-Turkish fare. But Tuesday night was special. This was dinner for a cause. 

"I thought the stories were tragic," regular customer Terence Riley told Local 10 News.

The owners and staff at Mandolin Aegean Bistro saw the desperate need in Greece. At least 92 people are dead and hundreds are homeless after last week's fast-moving wildfires engulfed the coastal towns near Athens, heavily damaging or destroying more than 3,500 structures.

"Greece is so close to our heart," assistant manager Krizia Vargas said. "I mean, we're a Greek and Turkish restaurant, so they're neighbors to us. They're family, and we all came together and decided that, you know, we had to do something to help all the victims and everyone (who) lost their homes."

The crisis in Greece is the worst since World War II and comes at a time when the Greek economy is struggling.

South Florida residents stepped up and packed the restaurant.

All the money raised goes toward the rebuilding of an orphanage that was destroyed in the wildfires.

The restaurant has hosted similar relief dinners after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico and an earthquake rocked Mexico City last year.

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