Dino Fagas was born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa, during a time in the country’s history that was challenging to say the least.. He attended the prestigious Pretoria Boys High School from where he went on to the University of Pretoria to obtain a Degree in Pharmacy. He completed the practical requirements of his degree and continued to work in the retail pharmaceutical environment for a total of three years after completing his degree. As much as this helped him to obtain some of the knowledge and experience he has in business today, he realized that this was not his passion and decided to take a break from that.
Upon his return from a short sabbatical in Greece he was certain that he did not want to get involved in pharmacy again. He was approached by a close family friend who had been a chef in a popular Pretoria restaurant for many years to open a restaurant together. The right position was found and Toula’s Taverna was born. A quaint little Greek restaurant in the heart of Hatfield Square which was the nightlife area of Pretoria at the time. With its great popularity and excellent traditional Greek food, it went from strength to strength and Dino decided to extend the restaurant by taking over the premises next door to it.
It was during these times that Dino’s love for food grew. With his mother in the kitchen at Toula’s Taverna he virtually had no choice. He designed the menus, handled the staff and was at the heart of the business day in and day out.
A few years later another opportunity presented itself in the form of a revamp at the Menlyn Park Shopping Centre. Dino secured a lease for premises in the centre as the revamp was nearing completion. Following a successful opening of Toula’s Taverna Menlyn Dino left Toula’s Taverna Hatfield to his brother Paul to run with his mother Viki while he focused on developing the Menlyn branch.
They would frequent their neighbourhood Italian restaurant Al Dente at least three