Donato & Giuseppe Laurito come from a long line of Italian chefs. Their grandfather was a cook in the navy during the war so their love for food transpires for generations. Their history pretty much started the day they were born, their mother invoked their culture and love of food and cooking ever since they were little. In their kitchen everything was always made from scratch full of flavour and fresh ingredients, the majority of which came from their own backyard. They knew from an early age they wanted to be chefs and build on their love for Italian food and cooking.
Donato started his apprenticeship at a leading hotel in Brisbane winning awards for best apprentice along the way with Giuseppe in tow landing many kitchen jobs learning the ropes at an early age. Once Donato qualified as a chef he had the ambition to open his own restaurant which he fulfilled at the ripe age of 21 with Giuseppe as his business partner. So the family began their story at a little place near Garden City called Cafe Colosseum where Giuseppe continued his apprenticeship there. This is where they introduced their style of traditional homemade cooking which included pasta and desserts made from scratch. The recipes for everything they cooked were family secrets handed down to them by their mother to which they added a D+G twist and produced them on a larger scale. In a short period of time they became well known in the local community and started to develop a large following which after several years helped them to expand in the form of ‘The Roman Empire’ restaurant. It was at The Roman Empire that they gained a lot of traction, receiving multiple awards and nominations for best restaurant on the south side of Brisbane. This restaurant was a family affair from the get go, Mamma Santina supervised the restaurant and helped the boys make all the pasta and desserts, while Papa Gaetano grew herbs and vegies which were used in some of the dishes.
Along with Donato, Giuseppe and their sister, all three siblings of the Laurito family ran these two successful restaurants for several years and soon thereafter opened a third restaurant “The Lava Bar – Pizza + Dessert Bar”. This restaurant specialised in functions of all scales, where the boys held all their private functions and parties along with overflow from The Roman Empire on every Friday and Saturday night. In 2004, Donato and Giuseppe sold Cafe Colosseum in order to focus on the increasing large demands of The Roman Empire and Lava Bar. A few years down the track, their sister parted ways when she got married and decided to focus on starting a family of her own so Donato and Giuseppe continued with both restaurants until 2007. It was then that they sold Lava Bar as their families grew, having six children between them, and they decided to balance their lives between their growing families and work. In 2015, they made the hard decision to sell The Roman Empire, but knew it was the right time to move on to the next chapter in their lives. The Roman Empire was part of their lives for sixteen years, a place where they made so many lifelong friends, who followed and supported them on their journey, from their very first restaurant until now. Donato and his wife Maria, Giuseppe and his wife Catherine, are now starting a completely new story ten months later, bringing their love of their food, culture and history to Brisbane city in the form of Storia on Queen.
Our Passion is to serve cuisine from some of our homegrown produce, which showcases our style of cooking and our love for traditional Italian food. We pride ourselves in providing each customer with the personal service and care they deserve, which is why the majority of the customers we have met along the way are now part of our family and enjoy our food.
Mamma Santina was born in Sicily. She was a strong and dedicated woman who survived World War II and stood the test of time. She was the second eldest of eight children and at a very young age took charge of cooking for the family and looking after them. This is where she learned to live off the land, in essence, where our real family history lies, and where our food, culture, and cooking methods have originated from.
Papa Gaetano was born in Naples, and just like his strong wife, he also survived World War II. He is from the southern part of Italy, a strong influence on some of the recipes we have learnt and cherished for decades, which we have also fused to create some of our signature dishes.
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Looking for an Afternoon pick me up with your coffee?? Make sure u check out our “grab and go” cabinet for some delicious options always changing. Even some gluten free options too!
Monday - Thursday: 6:30am - 4:30pm
Friday: 6:30am - Late
White New Day Drykorn Aika Release Dress SH1HTRg Shop 2, 324 Queen Street
Brisbane, QLD 4000 Australia
Phone: (07) 3161-5554
Material & care
Outer fabric material: 100% cotton
Care instructions: Do not tumble dry, machine wash at 30°C
Neckline: Crew neck
Article number: 10K22O00A-G11