Meli Bio

Raised in Sydney, Australia of Greek descent, Meli was influenced with the food, language, traditions and cultures of her heritage.

It was at 15 when Meli began work at her uncle’s popular Greek Seafood restaurant where her passion & curiosity arose in this field. She continued her work in some of the best Greek owned Seafood restaurants in Sydney, as well as a stint at the Hilton Hotel and part time as a Latin/ Brazilian Ballroom dancer.

With her parents unconditional love & encouragement, especially Mama Lucy, to “follow your heart & dreams” in 1993 (at 26), Meli was ready for her own restaurant. She decided to take a world trip, to expand her knowledge in her chosen profession.

When she landed in South Beach, Miami in September 1993, her restaurant dream was put on hold due to her encounter with the great flamenco guitarist, Alex Fox. Life became about travel, dance & music. Thanks to her dancing & entertainment experience, Meli (aka Liza Luna) became Fox’s agent/concert producer/dancer/wife. A performance for President Clinton in 1998 was the ultimate high.

In 2000, while touring in the South of France, came the life changing news of her first child Alexia. Anthony came soon after. Travelling took its toll on the growing family. With an amicable separation in 2002, Meli was able to pursue her true passion – food & wine.

The first Ouzo’s Greek Taverna was created in North Beach with her brother Johnny in 2002 with much success.  It was here, that she met Andrea Schiavi, who is still by her side on each venture and adds that special “je ne sais quoi”

Other restaurants are Ouzo’s Mediterranean Bistro in South Beach, Sunset Harbor (2007)

Anise Mediterranean Taverna located on the charming Miami River from 2008 -2012 .. It was there that she had the fortune to meet and continues to work with Chef Maykel Solis.

BarMeli Tapas & Wine bar was created in January 2014 on the up & coming 79th causeway.. Due to its popularity and loyal following another move was inevitable for a larger space, adequate parking and a full kitchen on the Biscayne corridor..

BarMeli69 Greek Bistro & Wine Bar is a fun, social, local friendly eatery that caters to all ages & ethnicities. It has a warm, non-corporate, no nonsense & unpretentious ambiance where customers feel like they are dining at Meli’s home.. You will find her there nightly to welcome you with open arms, a smile and a story or two.

Christophe Bibard

In the early 2000’s, with a thirst to discover and learn the rich culture of French cuisine my culinary career began. Mastering the art of “cuisine française takes knowledge of tradition, talent and enthusiasm, and a generous and inventive nature in order to prepare cuisine that knows no limits.

In 2011, I was a finalist in the popular European television show “Top Chef”.  Such an honor is bestowed only upon the finest and most talented chefs in all of Europe.

We recently began a new adventure in Miami with a dream to introduce French cuisine, famous for rich tastes and subtle nuances, to southern Florida.

For me, eating is not just a necessity, but a pleasure and experience that must be savored.