Tamer Soliman saved money for a decade with the goal of one day opening a restaurant.
Working in the manufacturing and construction sectors, he turned to work in the restaurant industry.
On February 28, he will realize his long-awaited dream by opening Tito’s Dinner, a cozy, seated place serving dinner dishes and some Egyptian specialities.
“I love food. I love cooking and I love seeing people on a daily basis,” Soliman said, adding that growing up he watched and helped his mother in the kitchen.
Tito’s, named after Suleiman’s nickname, replaces the Pan Tree Restaurant at 9. N. Progress Ave. in Susquehanna Township at Progress Plaza. Soliman bought the restaurant from Pan Tree owner Hamdy Ahmed.
At the age of 19, Soliman moved from Egypt to Minnesota where he held various jobs, including as a team leader for a cabinet manufacturer. About three years ago, he moved to the Harrisburg area to be closer to his family members.
He worked in several restaurants and eateries, including Gilligan’s Bar & Grill. He became acquainted with the Pan Tree when he served as cook for a friend for three months.
Ahmed, who was retiring, approached Soliman to take over the 100-seat Pan Tree. Soliman has spent the past week cleaning up, removing decorative pots and pans from the restaurant’s walls and repainting the interior.
“I want a place where people can hang out, sit down and chat,” Soliman said.
The plan is to open for breakfast and lunch and possibly branch out for dinner. The menu includes traditional breakfast items such as eggs, pancakes, and omelettes, as well as lunch options including sandwiches, burgers, and entrees.
Soliman said he was augmenting salad offerings with choices such as chicken and steak and incorporating some Egyptian specialties such as falafels, gyros and wraps.
Restaurant hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., daily. The phone is (717) 540-0059.