Since 1982, We've been the Ft. Pierce Family Restaurant, known for Great Food    with Fast, Friendly Service.                                                              Hercules "Dino" Christ - Founder    


Hercules "Dino" Christ has served generations of hungry Fort Pierce patrons. It's 7 a.m. and Hercules "Dino" Christ has just finished preparing his last batch of lasagna. Hard work early in the morning is nothing new to Christ. For the last 61 years, he has been rising before sun-up to cook, whether it is to serve breakfast to hundreds of people or prepare meals for the dinner crowd. The 80-year old Mediterranean immigrant is full of enthusiasm for life and for his passion: cooking. "I tell everyone I'm 39," he says.

Christ is originally from Cyprus. He began cooking in 1946 for a restaurant there making shish kabob and other entrees with ground beef and bread. "Most people there were poor, so we did not have much to cook with," he says. "That is why we mixed bread with our meat and we boiled our food."

Since conditions on the island were so poor, the young people were encouraged to move. "I had a school teacher who taught us a lot of geography," Christ says. "He told me that I should start to look at other countries to move to. England owned the island at the time, so we could go to Australia, Canada, England or the United States." Christ went to the local port and picked up a copy of Look Magazine. After getting a glimpse of what the United States was like, he decided to set sail and landed in New York in 1948. "I told my mother that I was leaving and she said, 'God be with you," he says. "During that time, my mother worked 12 hours a day for 25 cents."

Not knowing a word of English, Christ traveled to Warren, Ohio, where his uncle lived. He landed a job at the Victory Restaurant as a dishwasher and worked 14 hours a day for $17 a week. He began to learn English by listening to the radio and looking at books. Also, the waitresses would spend time talking with him. With a strong desire to succeed, he moved up to being a cook, but not long after that, the Korean War interrupted his Americq;^ dream to open his own restaurant. He joined the Army in 1952. After learning of his history, the Army assigned him to the kitchen as a cook.

When he returned from service in the Army, he knew that he would buy a restaurant, but the prices in Ohio were too steep. He found a good deal on a restaurant in Florida and in 1964 bought Crystal's Restaurant in downtown Fort Pierce. He stayed here for 11 years serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to judges, lawyers and other folks who yearned for his down-home style cooking. He sold Crystal's and started Chris' Restaurant on U.S. 1 and Avenue H. At that time, the Fort Pierce Hospital was only a couple of blocks away and construction work was booming. The power plant and the bridge to the south of the Fort Pierce Inlet were both being built. "I loved cooking and, boy, did I cook at Chris'," he says. "I went through four cases of eggs a day and served 700 people each day. It was a busy place, but I loved it." Wanting to expand his business, he sold Chris' and opened Dino's Restaurant at U.S. 1 and Juanita 25 years ago. With the intention of retiring, he sold the restaurant 20 years ago to his daughter and son-in-law, Darlene and Chris Humphreys. Darlene and Chris met at the restaurant: Chris was a frequent patron and Darlene, his favorite waitress. But Christ couldn't stay away from the kitchen and gave up the idea of retirement. He still comes in to cook in the morning and returns In the afternoon to greet the dinner crowd. "1 still have some of the same customers I've had for over 40 years," he says. "Some customers are 98,100 years old. I am just an infant compared to them. Remember, I am 39, right?" Excerpt taken from Indian River Magazine

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Tuesday - Saturday 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Closed Mondays

(772) 465-5217

2001 North US 1
Fort Pierce, Florida 34946

One Block North of Publix Plaza
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