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Building on the legend

The Legend of Fazio’s, located at 33 Simcoe Street South, was named in homage to the former restaurant at its location, Fazio’s, which was in business for nearly 40 years. (photo by Dave Flaherty)

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

The restaurant business has been a passion of Thas Thurairasa for nearly half his life.

Starting as a dishwasher at the age of 16, he worked his way up the chain and is now the owner of one of Oshawa’s newest restaurants.

Opening two and a half months ago, Legend of Fazio’s is located at 33 Simcoe Street South (corner of Simcoe and Athol streets), a spot many city residents will be familiar with.

It is the former home of Fazio’s, an Italian restaurant which was in business for almost 40 years before closing in 2017.

Thurairasa has been in the industry for 15 years, and the dream of opening his own business has been on his mind for a while.

Although he attended school for engineering, he knew food and customer service are his passion.

“I like this, it’s a different experience. It’s nice to feed hungry people,” he explains.

Originally from Toronto, he came to Oshawa to work with a friend, and after six months, started looking around for a potential location.

It was then he set his eyes on the former Fazio’s and immediately felt a connection.

“Just the location and the structure of this place – when you walk in, you just fall in love,” he said. “The windows, the wine cellar – the biggest part was the huge kitchen. I just fell in love.”

After doing some research, Thurairasa learned more about Fazio’s and decided he wanted to pay homage to its legacy.

He said the name “isn’t to draw the old clientele, I just didn’t want the history of this building and all the hard work the past owner [Tino Fazio] put in to get demolished.”

With that said, he notes he’s met a number of customers who used to eat at Fazio’s.

He admits Fazio wasn’t happy with his name choice at first, but they’ve spoken since, and things were cleared up.

In fact, Thurairasa said Fazio was “very impressed” with how the restaurant looked.

A chef by trade himself, he wanted to combine two of his favourites, Italian food and steak.

The menu ranges from burgers, sandwiches, and pasta to a number of different types of steak.

“Our specialty is prime rib,” Thurairasa says.

He says they are set to unveil a lunch menu later this month, and are currently working on daily food and drink specials.

As for his first few months, he says “so far, so good,” and personally thanked everyone who has supported the restaurant so far.

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