EPISODE GUEST: Dimitri Maheras

Caswell Station’s Dimitri Maheras on the importance of being a hands-on restaurant owner to help the shop succeed.

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Caswell Station and Graham Street Pub owner, Dimitri Maheras, grew up in the restaurant industry. His father and uncles owned a Mexican restaurant called Hermanos, then bought Leo’s Deli in the Elizabeth neighborhood of Charlotte, N.C.

Maheras went to school for an entirely different profession: criminal justice. “But I always knew I was going to end up in the restaurant business.”

Not one to be scared of getting his hands dirty, Maheras has worked many positions in the restaurant industry. After living in Florida for school, Maheras returned to Charlotte in 2011 and worked for his uncles at Greek Isles restaurant, formerly in the South End neighborhood, and some other bars and restaurants.

Eventually, it was time to make the leap. Maheras and partners bought a restaurant in Concord as a group, then another in Indian Trail. It was a strong start for Maheras but the group eventually decided to sell both restaurants.

‘Our whole mentality is to be hands-on owners and make sure our presence is felt,” says Maheras. And it was hard as owners to get to both distant locations. So they looked for more centralized opportunities.

Caswell Station, formerly Kennedy’s Irish Pub in the Elizabeth neighborhood, was in search of a new owner. They revamped the restaurant and kept the focus on the food and the amazing location and large patio.

Graham Street Pub presented a whole other set of challenges. The bar/restaurant had to be rebuilt from the ground up in its high traffic spot between the Charlotte’s Knights baseball stadium and the Bank of America NFL stadium.

The group contributes the success of their restaurants in large part to being present at the shops. “If you know this business and you’re a hands-on owner it makes a world of difference.”

Maheras’ advice to young entrepreneurs: “Always hold yourself accountable, set goals for yourself, and try your best to achieve them. Hard work always pays off.”

“If you know this business and you’re a hands-on owner it makes a world of difference.”

– Dimitri Maheras, Caswell Station

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