We decided we probably could stay there forever but we would never see anything else if we didn’t move on so we left to have lunch at Ammoudi Bay continuing our conversation. Time for sunset. We decided to enter the caldera to watch the famous sunset everyone spoke of but after seeing groups of people headed in the same direction by the masses, we decided that a more serene location might be that cozy little beach bar we discovered earlier. Quite intimidated by the fact that we were the only two patrons, we cautiously entered and timidly asked for two more Coronas.
We received an invitation to sit with the waitress and bartender in the coveted corner table and were handed two margaritas instead. That’s how the story begins.
Wearing bathing suits from the moment we woke up in Crete, we decided to find a beach. We came across another sign that read “Katharos Beach” and decided it would be our first stop. What we found was a rocky gravel driveway with a small secluded beach. The beach that day didn’t attract us but when we stepped outside we heard Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On” and headed down the steps to have a drink at this quaint and private beach bar. Our minds traveled to beautiful thoughts. Tasneem and I spoke of dreams of the future and what we wanted from life. We had such an intimate bonding session over two Coronas at Katharos.
That night I met the love of my life. The man who changed my world and opened me up to new experiences. The man who brought balance to my life and with whom I now own this same beautiful beach bar called Katharos Lounge. He was there that day. He was the one who played Marvin Gaye and like a siren called me down to visit this bar. He was the one who fixed us margaritas all night and let me dj on my iPod and introduce him to all my hip hop. He was the one who played The Cure ~ Lullaby and made me fall in love with him.
The story continues. A man comes to South Korea to live for a year, a girl finishes her contract and pauses her career to take time off, that same girl moves to Greece, they plan a wedding where they met and buy the business that brings them back to that first day and we arrive here in 2018. People say it’s a story meant for a movie but our lives being woven together after 2006 is just a story that needed to manifest itself this way for it is the only “normal” possibility available to us logically.
We both share a passion for music, travel, hosting, and have always dreamed of owning a bar one day. The first few years were extremely difficult. Neither one of us had ever owned a restaurant before. I had never gone to culinary school nor had ever worked in a professional kitchen. I studied early childhood development and educational psychology in university and my professional career consisted of jobs in social work or in education. I did however grow up watching my mother in the kitchen. She is extraordinary. She always presented such beautifully plated dishes even for a casual dinner with just the family. I watched her cook with intention and balance. To this day she still makes magic in the kitchen.
My husband is not a professional DJ or a musician either but his love for music and creating sounds weaves its way into the fabric of our ambiance at Katharos. Over the years we’ve both learned a lot about general construction and most of the renovations and crafty elements were done by the two of us. We spend part of the winters here on the island and on our walks with the dogs we find many beautiful inspirations from nature so if you look around the shop, you will find our artistic touches scattered throughout in the little details.
Often times I gaze out at the Aegean Sea under me, I glance over at the crocodile rock atop a mountain in front of me, I study the sunset or the moon set while traveling my soul to beautiful memories and perspectives, I listen to the music that’s ever changing to the rhythms of the current vibe as my husband sets the tone for the evening, I smell the rich flavors passing me by from the many dishes that are created in our kitchen, I feel the sun or the wind touch my face to warm my spirit or awaken my senses and I know that this is my own personal definition of perfection.
I HOPPED OFF THE FERRY TO FIND SUCH A SPECTACULAR SIGHT...
The illusion of snow capped mountains with stuccoed buildings and caves all around heightened my excitement for this adventure in Santorini. I had never dreamed in the wildest of fantasies to see such a place exist. Immediately we rented a car at the port and with no particular destination in mind, found a sign that read: right Fira, left Oia. We chose left.