dinos pizza toronto

Popular Toronto pizza joint just permanently shut down their newest location

Dino's Pizza has been a staple in the city for nearly two decades, but the pandemic has forced its newest location to close its doors for good. 

Restaurant owner Dino Ari opened the new location on Dundas West just a few months ago. The new business was an upgrade from his other two takeout spots, providing customers with dine-in service, a fully stocked bar and menu items beyond his beloved wood-fired pies. 

But these qualities are what led to the location's downfall as the COVID-19 pandemic struck Toronto just a month or so after the new location opened.

"Most of our customers were dine-in and people who came to drink at the bar," Ari said. "We were so happy. I took over that place a month or two before this happened and it was okay... It was a nice place, a good location for dine-in and a bar. But unfortunately, we can't always win."

He said keeping the restaurant open just isn't realistic in these trying times due to forced closures and a loss of clientele. 

Still, Ari says his other two locations continue to prosper as demand for takeout remains high. And while he's sad to see the new location go, he says he's grateful to still be doing business at all. 

"To save something, you have to give up something," he said. "It's not worth it to continue there. If you don't have customers, what can you do?"

When asked whether he thinks he'll ever open another dine-in restaurant like the one on Dundas, Ari said he plans to stick with takeout in order to adapt to the times we're now living in. 

He also said he's proud of the charity work he and his employees have done during the pandemic, such as donating food to frontline workers and those experiencing homelessness, and he believes the community will continue to support him the way he's done for them.

"We have to live with our community and support our community and we expect that our community will help us," he said. "Everything is mutual."

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim


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