THE saying ‘love is better the second time around’ rings true for restaurant owner Nicky Tangney, who has taken over the reins of her father’s former restaurant, Funtastico, in the least conventional way.
A decade after her father Kerry sold the popular Subiaco eatery, Ms Tangney has found herself back working on Rokeby Road.
Only this time, she is the boss.
“We had Funtastico from 2002 to 2007,” she said.
“I was the maitre d’ and ran it with dad. Subiaco was an absolute madhouse; business was thriving and we used to have lines of 50 people waiting for a table, so I often doubled up as a bouncer.
“It was great, but we would pray for quiet times.”
In 2007, Mr Tangney sold the restaurant to go into a much-deserved retirement. But it was not long before he would also be back on the Subiaco café strip.
“We were at my dad’s 70th birthday years later and Fulvio Tirli, our former head chef who stayed with the business when it sold, said to me “come on Nicky, we need you back,’ she said.
“So I said to him, why don’t we go into business together?
“We looked at other business opportunities, but then one day we saw the doors shut at Funtastico, and that was it.”
Joe Falco, who took over the restaurant from the Tangneys, had gone into receivership.
“Funtastico was still in our hearts,” Ms Tangney said.
“So we got mum and dad on board, and Fulvio and I went into the business together.”
However, they had a big task ahead of them.
“The reputation of Funtastico when we took it back over almost three years ago was not where we left it in 2007,” Ms Tangney said.
“People are still getting to know that it’s us here again.
“Luckily we built a great relationship with our customers back then, which we still have now.”
Ms Tangney said while business in Subiaco had slipped, her loyal customers’ love for Funtastico had not.
“We are still trying to revive Funtastico, obviously not to where it was in the heyday because times are different, but at least people know it’s us again.”