The eatery is located in the Bi-Lo shopping center on Furys Ferry Road.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Dino Dakuras was optimistic, but he did not expect instant success when he opened Dino's Chicago Express on Furys Ferry Road.
So he's still a little shocked at the tremendous growth the business has seen since opening two years ago - which is why he recently celebrated with a miniblock party complete with children amusements, radio remotes and 50 prize giveaways.
"I think that anytime you go into something, you have to have the right attitude and the positive mentality that it will succeed," Dakuras said. "However, I did not think it would take off as fast as it has taken off and I did not think the popularity and word-of-mouth would spread as fast as it has."
The restaurant serves foods based on what might be served in Dakuras' Mediterranean household - gyros, souvlaki, wraps, salads, spiced up Italian sandwiches and Chicago-style hotdogs - in a friendly dining room environment adorned with Chicago- and sports-themed art.
Dakuras attributes much of the success to his loyal customers.
Dino Dakuras just celebrated the second anniversary of Dino's Chicago Express with a miniblock party.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"There is no doubt we have the greatest customers around," Dakuras said. "They are always coming back. You see the same people day in and day out and you could pretty much know what they are going to eat. They really enjoy it - there is no doubt about that."
The family-run business that started out with only a handful of employees now boasts a dozen. Catering has also become a large part of the business.
"(The business) is going great and continuing on the path that I want it to go on with the hopes that within the subtle future, we will be looking into another location," Dakuras said.
He hopes to create the second location in the Evans area as the Washington Road niche is moving toward Evans and down Furys Ferry Road.
"I thank God everyday that we were able to pick a good location and maintain what we have done and continued to grow," Dakuras said. "We are always improving as a business. I think that is one of the key aspects of this place is that we are not afraid to make changes that will better our business."
Dino's offers eat-in, carry-out or drive-through service at the location in the Bi-Lo Shopping Center on Fury's Ferry Road across from West Lake's back entrance. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday-Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Menu favorites include gyros, Chicago dogs and fries and, of course, the baklava handmade by Dakuras' mother, Sophia. Since opening, the menu has grown slightly to make room for new items like Mike's Sandwich, a meat lover's sandwich with Italian sausage and beef, the Greek Village Salad, authentic Greek-style, and a Monterey bacon cheeseburger.
For call-ahead orders, call Dino's at 228-4476.
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