Set in the heart of Durban’s well known Florida Road, Europa is the perfect place to enjoy a meal with friends or family. We had the chance of chatting to the owners Mike and Shirley about their restaurant…
Although we are a franchise with a Continental theme, largely our clientele who have embraced our relaxed and casual style has driven the Italian influence of our menu. Our menu is therefore a reflection of the lifestyles of our customers who need an easily accessed oasis in the midst of their busy lives.
When did you develop an interest in food apart from being a food lover like us?
I was raised in Zimbabwe and loved the wide outdoors. In honesty, I initially chose the hospitality industry to get close to open space at a hotel called A Zambezi River Lodge in Victoria Falls. It was there that I developed a passion for making people happy!
We got to ask, what would your dream car be?
I drive my dream car – a 1999 Toyota Corolla RSi! Why is it my dream car? It sheds all the fancy German cars on Field’s Hill but most importantly it is fully paid for! LOL
What would you say sets your brand apart from this diverse ‘foodie’ market?
We are dictated to by our customers rather than the other way around. Our business is about people.
This changes with trends and innovation but, right now, for breakfast our Corelli will start your day beautifully! For lunch you will be knocked out by our Prawn Paradiso Pizza and for dinner our Bacon and Mushroom Steak will keep you coming back again and again!
What would you say are your main challenges as a restaurateur?
Managing our environment. Like the rest of SA, Durban is subject to ongoing change – most of which is really positive and exciting but some of which is challenging. Managing ones extended environment is much more challenging than managing ones own space. We have long embraced this challenge and are very positive about the future. The economy, safety, infrastructure and social cohesion are everyone’s responsibility and as a business, we understand this.
In Durban, in particular, keep your feet on the ground. As a community, we Durbanites are very discerning but definitely not pretentious! Start with fresh and simple and keep that as your anchor going forward.
What or whom would you say is your foodie influences?
Almost any and all of those amazing little beach cafes on any of the Greek Islands. Fresh, quick, simple and yet always hauntingly memorable. Mention octopus and I am transported immediately to a little grill shack on Santorini’s Red Beach.
If you could describe Europa in a word, what would it be?
How can our readers follow your restaurant online?
Find us on Twitter @europafloridaroad and on Facebook on our Europa Florida Road page.
It was an absolute pleasure getting the chance to taste the awesome food and for the opportunity to interview you, any shout outs or special thanks?
Most of our customers are regulars and the core of our Europa Team are long serving. Viva to permanence!