I have so many great memories of Tashas, particularly the one in Rosebank. I don’t know whether it’s the New York style side-walk tables or the easy breezy food but Tasha’s always seems to get it right for me.
One memory that jumps out is the day I met up with my sister and her friend for brunch. I think it was the Tashas in Umhlanga. The conversation and the drinks were flowing, our afternoon brunch turned into an early dinner. There’s just something about the surroundings and food that makes you feel at ease. We stayed until it was almost closing time and I don’t remember once feeling like we were being chased out — now that’s great service. That consistent level of care for service across their franchises in South Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is why Tashas is a South African success story.
Tasha’s was founded by Natasha Sideris and her younger brother, Savva. Natasha grew up in the restaurant business by her father’s side. One of her first realisations about the demands the restaurant business entails was when her father opened a fishmonger in Rivonia, Johannesburg. She was studying psychology and would help out her dad for extra cash.
After opening the first café in Atholl, Johannesburg, in 2005, Tashas has expanded to more than 24 locations — 15 in South Africa and nine in the UAE. Under its umbrella, Tashas Group has five distinct restaurant concepts, Tashas, Flamingo Room, Avli, Le Parc and Galaxy Bar.
In 2019 the Sideris family bought back the 51% stake they had sold to Famous Brands in 2008.
“Since buying back the Group from Famous Brands in 2019, we have been moving forward both locally, and on the international hospitality scene,” says Natasha. “We have now reached the point where we are able to make significant strides in our expansion plans.”
The group will be adding new locations in South Africa, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and London.
“Key to our expansion has been ensuring that the heart and soul of our birthplace and foundation — South Africa — is taken to the world. And for this, our people are intrinsic. Not only are we using the South African artists and artisans who have worked with us in SA to build our global stores but also our own staff. A number of our team members from South Africa are being transferred to international locations in the interests of job creation, skills development and furtherment of their careers,” says Sideris.
The latest addition of Tashas will open in Lynnwood Bridge in Pretoria later this year, and the next stop will be in London, where the team is close to finalising details.
Flamingo Room first opened its doors in 2017 in Dubai and is scheduled to open its doors in Saudi Arabia later this year and in Abu Dhabi at the beginning of 2023.
Tashas Group has further plans to open franchises for Le Parc and Nala. Le Parc is a food and retail emporium which first opened its doors in the Hyde Park mall in Johannesburg in 2021. Nala, a luxury quick-service concept, is opening in Al Serkal, Dubai, in early 2023.
Bungalo34, a new concept inspired by the rivieras of Greece, France and Italy, is to be located at Pearl Jumeirah (a surfing beach) in Dubai in the last quarter of 2022.
Each of the Group’s concepts have already received high international praise and recognition.
Avli by Tashas has recently been featured in the inaugural Michelin Guide for the UAE, and Galaxy Bar, one of Dubai’s most sought-after late-night lounge experiences, was named one of the top 50 bars in the world by World’s 50 Best.