By Alesha Capone
The owner of a long-running Wyndham restaurant says that opening a new venue has provided him with a smorgasbord of fresh opportunities.
Elie Touma ran DiCaprio Family Restaurant on Derrimut Road, Hoppers Crossing for almost 20 years, but was forced to vacate the site – which he leased – when developers gained approval to build a service station there.
After DiCaprio closed last year, Mr Touma vowed to open up a new business elsewhere in Wyndham, to remain in the community that has supported him for so long.
This dream came true when Brothers on K opened earlier this month.
This name was inspired by the restaurant’s family connections, with Mr Touma’s brother Eddy serving as head chef, and also the venue’s location on K Road in Werribee South.
“My wife and three children are also helping out in the restaurant,” Mr Touma said.
As well, all the staff at the new venue previously worked at DiCaprio, and pizza and pasta remain as popular menu items for both eat-in and takeaway.
Mr Touma said that around 50 to 60 people attended a special pre-opening night celebration at Brothers on K, including regular customers from DiCaprio, Werribee South residents, Rotary Club of Hoppers Crossing members, family and friends.
At the event, a priest from St James the Apostle blessed the new restaurant.
Brothers on K seats about 70 to 80 people, plus another 30 outside, less than the 250-plus patrons DiCaprio could host.
The restaurant also has a new mascot – their landlord’s cockatoo Betsy lives in a large enclosure outside the restaurant and greets customers.
Mr Touma said he was planning to open a beer garden at Brothers on K.
He is also organising to purchase fresh vegetables from Werribee South’s farms, to use in the restaurant.
Mr Touma said although he was “very sad” to leave DiCaprio, it has “it opened a new door for the best”.
“Moving from one place to another, I say a change is as good as a holiday,” he said.