Tom Dimacopoulos came to Canada in 1966 from Stemnitsa, a village in Arcadia, Greece. As a young adult he trained as a chef and developed a flare for the art of Greek cuisine. His love for the kitchen came in handy when he arrived in Canada. He immediately found work in construction during the day and in the hospitality industry in the evening. He didn't allow himself a moment of rest until he opened up his own restaurant. In 1967, a year after arriving in Canada he opened Ellas, a Greek restaurant in Toronto. In 1970 he felt it was time to start a family. With that in mind he returned to Greece to find his bride. In Argos he met and married his wife Zabeta. Zabeta left her family in Argos and together with her husband returned to Toronto to fulfill their dream to start a family and grow Ellas.
Ellas underwent multiple renovations throughout the years but it's most extensive renovation was completed in the early 1990's at the Pape location to accommodate its ever growing clientele. After the renovations Ellas on Pape seated 200 restaurant diners (in both open plan and private dining rooms), along with two banquet rooms accommodating up to 300 guests. Ellas became a place where families held events for generations.
One of Ellas' hallmarks was its open kitchen. In 1967, customers would walk into the kitchen and order directly from the chef. As the location expanded to the adjacent building the kitchen was still the star occupying a whole side of the restaurant. Customers could now walk along the open kitchen on the main floor, taking in its long bank of food displays, showing the chef's at work creating mouth watering appetizers, salads, entrées of lamb fricassee, moussaka, charbroiled souvlaki, lamb chops, fresh fish and seafood just to name a few items on the menu. The open kitchen encouraged patrons to wander through the kitchen and "let their eyes do the ordering”.
Tom and Zabeta also owned and managed Ellas Restaurant and Banquet Facilities further east on the Danforth, in Scarborough, which opened in 1983. This location was mainly a banquet facility hosting up to 5 weddings at a time and accommodating over 1000 guests. By exceeding customers expectations Ellas continued to thrive.
Helping Tom and Zabeta work “round the clock'' were their four children, Argi, Eria, Esia and Zoe, all of whom said that growing up they spent far more time at the restaurants than they ever did at home.
"Ellas has always been our pride and joy," continued Tom. “Our family is very grateful to Toronto, and the Bloor-Danforth area in particular, for supporting us all these years and helping make our dream come true.”