Since April 1990 when Julio decided to give up a professional music career to pursue a lifelong dream of owning a Portuguese Restaurant, he hasn’t regretted leaving the drumsticks and microphone behind to don a chef’s hat. Hundreds, perhaps even thousands of happy diners have also not regretted his decision which has allowed them to enjoy traditional authentic food inspired by Portugal and its African diaspora.
Cabana’s Portuguese Restaurant, South of Durban, was just the start of his rolling success which ended up with him starting up a new venture in North Beach called Neo Café which was an instant hit!
The first of the restaurants to take his own name, Julio’s in Davenport Road opened soon after with similar success. Always keen to support and nurture talent, Julio eventually sold the restaurant to one of his trusted staff who still today keep the Julio’s fires stoked for the local customers.
Feeling homesick for Portugal, Julio returned to his homeland and set up a restaurant but the call of Africa was something he couldn’t ignore for long. “Africa and it’s friendly people,” were never out of my mind he laughed. “I had gone to my homeland, but found myself homesick for Durban, so I returned and established Julio’s Ballito. But Ballito was not quite home so in October 2013 I sold up and returned to Durban with the Wilson’s Wharf restaurant called Julio’s on the Bay, followed in 2015 with Julio’s uMhlanga.”
It was an exciting time of running two restaurants simultaneously, but eventually after finding the right people to take over the uMhlanga restaurant, he sold it in April last year. Then in November “with great excitement bought back Neo Café – which was now running here in Durban North – to do my final restaurant, Julio’s Cabana,” he said explaining how in many ways he had come full circle with the brand he had established 15 years before.
The name Julio’s has become synonymous with the various eateries he has established in parts of Durban over the years to which people enjoy returning to time after time, knowing exactly what they will find. “Good food at affordable prices with great service!” he said. Something his loyal customers over the years can attest to.
Ive had the privilege of dining at Julios restaurants for over 20 years now. From Cabannas in Montclair to where he is…
The new restaurant is currently open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 12noon to 9pm, and each Sunday from 12noon to 3pm, and closed on Mondays. “The evenings and weekends get very busy, so it is best to book ahead,” he cautions.
The lunch specials change every two months. At the moment the current specials are as follows:
“Tuesday lunch specials, a half baby chicken for R59,90, or full baby chicken for R89.90, each with a single side dish; Wednesday’s lunch customers can enjoy a half baby chicken and prawns combo with one side dish for only R89,90; While Thursday offers a kilogram of Queen Prawns with Savoury rice for two people sharing for R199,90.”
Sunday lunches are always a festive time where people can enjoy the hospitable ambiance and views over the bustling high road of Mackeurtan Avenue, which is nestled in the heart of the Durban North community. Visit the Facebook page, or phone the restaurant to book a table today on 031 563 5546, and enjoy the good life, the Julio’s way!