Olympia Dining is the culmination of a lot of dreams and hopes for the owners, Enka and Tony. It represents much more than just their shared dream to open their own restaurant serving their authentic dishes with the freshest ingredients, made from scratch, the old fashioned way. It is a story of hope, tremendous accomplishment, and a dream to move to the United States for a better life.
Shehaj and Bekurti, grew up in Tirana, the capital of Albania (just above Greece). But it wasn’t until both separately moved to the United States, Michigan to be exact, that they met and married. The story is an interesting one.
Meanwhile, Tony, an athlete in his own right (table tennis), attended University for vocal music and speaks five languages; English, Spanish, German, Italian, and his native tongue. He was working as a driver and interpreter for the German embassy when a colleague suggested he apply for the
Green Card lottery.
Only the most highly educated people with the best records were even considered for the honor. It was as he says a big dream. It was expensive and something he never thought he would have a chance to do. It brings tears to his eyes even now when he talks about it.
Then, the big brown package arrived announcing he was chosen. He and about 50 of his closest family members had a party to celebrate. He lived in New York and Connecticut before moving to Michigan, where He met Enka, his future wife. Tony and Enka have a daughter, Eni. Tony also has a son, Kliti and a daughter, Diana from his first marriage and completing their family, Enka’s daughter, Megi from her first marriage.
At age 17 Enka joined her City’s athletic club in Albania. She took up sport pistol and air pistol shooting. Training five of more hours a day and running to keep in shape, she qualified in less than a year for the national Olympic team. The Government paid her to compete while attending University for her teaching degree.
She attended an academy for Olympic athletes in Olympia, Greece and then lectured there. She became national champion for her event, breaking all records. She participated in the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, regional Olympic matches such as the Mediterranean games in Athens where she took second, and in the European championships where she placed third. Soon she was among the top athletes in the world in her sport, ranked 13th. She compete all over the world including the 1992 Barcelona games, and 1996 Atlanta Games. In 2000, she again qualified for the Sydney Olympic Games.
Enka was married to another athlete at that time and had Megi. The political strife and economic turmoil in her Country concerned her, and she decided to move to the United States to provide a better life for her family. Her husband wanted to remain in Albania and the two divorced. Enka wanted to continue to train and compete in Atlanta but her Country insisted she train within her native borders, so she put down her pistol and started anew. Starting over when you were featured on television and honored at your school with your picture at the entrance, is not an easy decision.
A fulfilled Dream
Tony, who honed his culinary skills at an early age cooking along side of his grandmother, worked his way up from dishwasher to head chef before taking over the reins of several restaurants. Now, He and Enka and their family have come full circle. They have fulfilled their dream of raising their family in America, of owning their own restaurant while paying homage to Enka’s accomplishments as an Olympic athlete.
Olympia Dining is a Family Affair.
We hope as our customer you enjou our
fressh ingredients and authentic cuisine.
We are happy to cook for you.
- Enka and Tony