About Us

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How it started

We are the Velardo Family and would like to welcome you to Alfresco Italian Restaurant which has been tantalising Gold Coast diners’ taste buds for over 30 years now.

1980 - Immigrating to Australia

Immigrating to Australia in 1980 after a massive earthquake around the Naples area, Mamma’s sister lived in Australia so Tony, Silvana and their 3 year old son hopped on a plane and travelled to the other side of the world to make a new life. With the birth of their daughter in Lilydale, Melbourne the Velardo family now had an Australian born child.

1985 - Arrivederci

Our restaurant story actually began back in 1985 in Southport, as a little humble “hole-in-the-wall” take away shop called “Arrivederci” in Southport. With no experience, hardly any english and sometimes only making one pizza a night, Tony and Silvana’s passion for cooking Italian food and looking after their customers, is what drove them to restaurant it is today.

1986 - Tony and Silvana's

In 1986 that little “hole-in-the-wall” turned it into a 30 seater restaurant called Tony & Silvana’s making our deep Italian roots felt in every corner of the restaurant. Being from the Naples region, the many pictures & murals that are in our Restaurant depict the Naples region, especially the Amalfi Coast also known as La Costiera Amalfitana, one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world.

1990 - Back to Italy

In 1990, when that little 30 seater started to become successful, it was sold and the family moved back to Italy for nostalgic reasons. We stayed in Italy for a little while and decided after that Australia was the land of opportunity, and almost 30 Years later here we are.
We still have 95% of their relatives in Italy and hold strong family ties with them. We are proud Australians, however Italy will always hold a special place in our hearts.

1991 - Back to Australia

In 1991 we came back to Australia and bought back the restaurant in Southport which was re-named “Alfresco”. Then In 1992 we bought the restaurant in Surfers Paradise and named it also Alfresco, and at that time were running both restaurant simultaneously. In 1996 we decided it was best we closed the Southport venue so that Mum and Dad could work together in the one business that had grown from a 40 seater to a 110 seater restaurant.

2012 - Closed Doors on the original Alfresco

In 2012 we closed the original Surfers Paradise Alfresco and has now been demolished to make way for a high rise.

September 2014 - Goodbye Tony

On the 14th of September 2014 the founder and charismatic owner of Alfresco Antonio Velardo sadly passed away after a 2 year battle with cancer.

Today

Today Alfresco continues to thrive with Raffaele & Natalie continuing the legacy that Raffaele’s parents had left.

Our Vision

Alfresco is more than just an Italian Restaurant, it’s a place where people have come for over 30 years to enjoy great food, great hospitality and a great vibe, in a casual, releaxed & fun dining environment, no airs or graces here just a place with personality !
When you dine at Alfresco we want you feel like part of our Family, the ones you like.
Established in 1985 as Arrivederci then Tony & Silvana’s, Alfresco Italian Restaurant has become a Gold Coast Icon. Customers continue to come in and make Alfresco the meeting place for family dinners, celebrating birthdays, business dinners, bucks and hens nights, friends catching up and even lovers enjoying a vino or two whilst enjoying the sounds of Italian music and the buzz of people sharing stories, catching up or singing along to old school Italian songs.

At Alfresco our vision is to be recognised as the benchmark in casual Italian dining, to provide outstanding food, create a casual, fun, friendly environment, and to ensure you are well looked after by our friendly professional staff. We really want you to feel as though you are in a little part of Italy. We hope you enjoy your experience & Buon Appetito!