The Capri is more than a restaurant- it is an integral part of Fremantle’s cultural and social history. Owned and run by the Pizzale family for seven decades, it has stood the test of time, providing authentic Italian food to generations of customers.
In the 1950’s and ‘60’s Fremantle was a bustling port with a thriving migrant community. Along with many Italian shops, there was a network of boarding houses, home to many new European migrants while they waited for their families to join them in Australia. One of the boarding houses located on Essex Lane also had a restaurant attached to it. This restaurant that fronted onto South Terrace was the Capri.
In 1954 Oddone Pizzale (Old Nonno) bought into the Capri Restaurant and ran it with his wife Genuina. In 1966 their son Corrado and his wife Maria took over. Together, they guided the family business through many decades, Maria expertly steering front of house and Corrado in the kitchen. Now with their children are at the helm, they continue the tradition of running the business with a hands-on approach.
Fremantle has seen lots of changes since the 1950’s, but the Capri Restaurant has remained constant, serving genuine Italian food made with quality ingredients. The famous complimentary Capri soup and crusty bread is one of Fremantle’s most treasured rituals, a tradition born in its early days as a boarding house. The menu at the Capri has evolved over the years but many of the original favourites from the 1950’s are still on the menu. Chicken and spaghetti, scallopini, cutlet and the most tender fried squid are all popular choices.
The Capri is home to the Pizzale family, and also to so many customers that are welcomed through its doors every week. And the Capri continues to grow, with the fourth generation now part of the business. Hospitality legend and Fremantle’s living treasure, Maria Pizzale (Nonna), is still in the background, providing guidance and help as our ‘family’ of customers continues to grow with us.