Story and video: Andrew Santos
Giving customers in downtown Oshawa the best possible dining experience has been at the forefront of Tino Fazio’s career for more than 32 years.
Fazio’s restaurant, located at the corner of Simcoe and Athol, is open to the general public and welcomes family, friends, university and college students, as well as corporate functions.
The passionate owner is no stranger to the culinary culture. Prior to opening his own restaurant, Fazio worked in a number of places, including a bakery, a butcher shop and operating his own pizzeria.
When Fazio immigrated to Canada in 1966, he brought with him the idea of good friends spending good nights around his table. With this in mind, he opened Fazio’s Restaurant and Wine Experience to customers in 1979.
More than thirty years later and with an ever-growing university presence in the downtown core, Fazio and his son Nicholas are excited.
“It’s been fantastic,” Nicholas said. “It definitely helps with business and helps generate new clientele. It rejuvenates downtown seeing more people walking around and more traffic flow so they can come into the restaurant also.”
Fazio and his son are encouraged that the Regent Theatre has just recently reopened, as part of UOIT’s growing off-campus presence. In their 30-plus years in downtown Oshawa, they’ve seen the good and the bad that’s come with being in the same location.
“I believe in this town and I still believe that Oshawa is in a good spot,” he said.
Pat Carstairs, a patron, attended lunch with a friend at Fazio’s Friday. She’s visited Fazio’s more than once and is blown away each time by the whole dining experience.
“It’s a nice place with a great atmosphere and good service,” she said.
Fazio’s welcomes the public to view their extensive wine collection that currently boasts over 15,000 bottles, from 240 varietals. Fazio’s has its own agency that goes to the extent of importing and distributing bottles of their own product.
Beyond the lengthy wine list and blackened duck specialty that Fazio claims no one else can match, he believes there’s another secret to his restaurant’s success.
“We’ve been working now for 32 years. We’ve been working with respect, good food and a nice atmosphere,” he said.
“What more do you want than that?”