We last heard about Andrew Papadakis’s plans for Dino’s back in 2020. At the time, the casual pita joint was moving in next door to his popular Greek restaurant Meze Mazi. It was one of many plans postponed by the pandemic.

Papadakis sold Meze Mazi in 2021 before joining the group behind the fancy Frewville and Pasadena Foodlands as hospitality manager, where he met chef Giuseppe Nasti (previously at Mitolo Wines, Victoria’s Ten Minutes by Tractor and Queensland’s Rickys). Now the two are teaming up to open Dino’s – four years on – in a new location on the corner of Hindley and Gresham streets.

Dino’s, named after Papadakis’s grandfather, will specialise in the pair’s take on yiros – pita pockets stuffed with adobo-style grilled pork belly with red cabbage and kimchi coleslaw; spicy chicken thigh with tomato chutney and fresh lettuce; and ras el hanout lamb rump with pickled fennel and salsa verde yoghurt.

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“We have imported a lava rock rotisserie grill from Brazil where we will cook our meats kondosouvli style – threaded on rods, similar to large souvlaki skewers, and placed on the rotisserie,” says Papadakis.

The pita itself was developed with a local baker and is inspired by thrakopsomo, a regional sandwich from Papadakis’s homeland of Crete, which uses hollowed out bread stuffed with fillings. “Our version falls between bread and pita,” he says. “We experimented with various breads and pitas over the years, even attempting to import from Greece, until we found the perfect fit. We wanted something light yet durable, ensuring that the filling remains intact without causing a mess.”

You’ll also be able to order your fillings sans bread, on a plate. And there’ll be starters and sides like dips, haloumi and chips.

Papadakis envisions the fast-casual concept as “a place where people can enjoy high quality food without the price tag typically associated with restaurants”. “Here in Australia yiros has that stigma of late-night after-party food. It’s not like that in Greece,” he told Broadsheet in 2020. “I thought I’d do something on that path, but different.”

The all-day spot will cater to dine-in and takeaway trade, from lunch till late. Papadakis has enlisted designer Ella Horne of Muse Studio to transform the former burger joint into a contemporary Greek diner with a neutral colour scheme, beautiful arches and textured stucco walls. For those dining in there’ll also be tap beers, house wines by First Drop and cocktails featuring the classic Greek liqueur mastiha.

Dino’s is expected to open in late April at 5/33 King William Street (enter on Hindley Street).

@dinos_adl