Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
FAIRFIELD — Mike and Nikki Papazoglou have announced they are opening a restaurant in downtown Fairfield in the storefront most recently occupied by Amore Mio.
The owners previously ran the restaurant “Kokomo’s by Mike and Nikki” inside Quality Inn & Suites hotel on West Burlington Avenue until a fire last December forced them to shut it down. Since then, the couple has been selling food from a food truck they dubbed “Rolling Cravings.” Now they are ready to move into a more permanent home.
Mike said the restaurant will go by the name “Mike and Nikki’s,” since that is the name the public is most familiar with. He hopes to open the restaurant in August, and said it will sell most of the same food it did before when it was located in the hotel.
The new location at 53 E. Broadway Ave. is about half the size of the restaurant’s former home. Mike said that, as he and his wife searched for locations in Fairfield to move to, they found that most of them were smaller than they’d like.
“There aren’t very many spots, and they’re all pretty small, but at this point, we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do,” Mike said.
Mike and Nikki’s will offer a “Greek-American mix” of food, Mike said. He said they plan to have more Greek food on the menu when they open at the new location.
The new location on the north side of the Fairfield square was the home of the Italian restaurant Amore Mio for several years until it closed in early June. Mike said they liked the way the building was laid out and are not expecting to do major renovations to it.
“It’s a good spot, and it’s a nice opportunity to be on the square,” Mike said.
The Papazoglous ran their restaurant from the hotel, now known as Quality Inn & Suites and before that the Fairfield Best Western, for five years until a fire in the restaurant’s electric box sent smoke throughout the restaurant and hotel on Dec. 21. The smoke from the fire contaminated all of the food and packaging in the restaurant, which had to be discarded.
At that point, the Papazoglous had spent about half a year selling food from their food truck, which they took to local events such as four-wheeler races and tractor pulls. Since they were no longer able to sell from their restaurant, the couple leaned into their mobile food sales, and by the spring of 2021 were operating the food truck six days a week in towns throughout Southeast Iowa.
Mike said they didn’t begin looking for a new location right away because they wanted to see what the landlord would do with the hotel. He said nothing has been done to the building since the fire, which prompted him and his wife to look for another location. Quality Inn & Suites did not respond to a request for comment as of Monday at noon.
With the start of their new venture in downtown Fairfield, Mike and Nikki will cease operating the food truck on a daily basis. They will honor the promises they’ve made to attend special events later this year but will focus their attention on attracting customers to their brick and mortar venue. Mike said that whether the business continues its food truck will depend on staffing, too.
Mike and Nikki started their restaurant in Keosauqua in 2001 after purchasing the restaurant owned by Edith Richardson. The couple moved the restaurant to Fairfield in 2010, setting up shop in the strip mall on South Main Street on the south side of town. They lost their lease in 2015 and moved into what was then the Fairfield Best Western. The business was booming coming into 2020, but took a hit when the pandemic arrived in March of that year. The couple hope that they will be able to bounce back nicely at their new location on the north side of the square.