By Crystal McGough, Editor
TRUSSVILLE – From 1994 to 2010, a small, family-owned Italian restaurant in the heart of downtown Trussville called Taburro’s was a staple in the community and a favorite for locals to enjoy an authentic – and romantic – Italian dinner.
Looking in from the outside, newcomers probably wouldn’t have given the small, simple building, which was located on Glenn Avenue, a second glance, but that would have been their loss. For inside of this building was a hidden gem, the likes of which one would expect to find at a themed destination spot like Disney World. Boasting a large mural of “Lady and the Tramp,” and founder Dick Tamburro walking through the restaurant serenading guests with his accordion, Tamburro’s was a local dining experience that could not be found anywhere else.
Now, 13 years after Dick Tamburro closed the doors to retire, his daughter Kyleen Kramer and daughter-in-law Tina Tamburro are bringing the family business back to life, and back to Trussville, planning to open the restaurant in August.
Through its early years, Tamburro’s went through a couple of name changes, being founded as “Tamburro and Sons” and later dubbed “Tamburro’s Bella Notte.” Now, it will be returning to Trussville not only in a new location in the Trussville Shopping Center on Chalkville Mountain Road, but with a refreshed name: Tamburro’s Italian Home.
“This all started when (Kyleen) was a little girl – and she’s got three other (siblings), brothers and a sister,” Dick Tamburro said. “We used to go to a place called ‘The Italian Home’ up north (in Pennsylvania), which my mom and dad used to work at.”
“So that’s how we came up with the name,” Kramer said, taking over from her dad. “We have Tamburro’s, and then we just tied my grandparents in with the ‘Italian Home.’ We just wanted to have everybody in because our family is what it’s all about.”
While her father already has a well-established reputation in Trussville, Kramer is new to the Trussville community, having grown up and spent her life in Atlanta, Ga., after her family moved there from Pennsylvania when she was only 5-years-old. It was only after she grew up and had her first child that her dad moved to Trussville and founded “Tamburro and Sons.”
“I would’ve taken over his restaurant back when he decided to close – because he wanted to retire – but we just weren’t ready,” Kramer said. “We had kids to raise and put through college. I worked in a law firm for 20 years (and) I just got so tired of the work and wanted something new. I was planning to retire in a few years anyway, so I was just like, ‘Well, why don’t I just open a restaurant?’
“Some of the best decisions my husband and I make are off the cuff,” she added.
Dick said he was surprised when his daughter told him she planned to move to Trussville and re-opening the family restaurant along with Tina, her brother’s wife. He also said he will continue to be involved with the restaurant, especially when it comes to playing his accordion for Tamburro’s guests.
To add to the focus on family, Kramer’s other brother is going to be the main cook, bringing back their dad’s original Tamburro-family recipes.
“The food will be familiar (but) the look will be refreshed; it’s not going to be a carbon-copy of (Dick’s) restaurant,” Kramer said. “But it’s just so steeped in family, it is what it is. We’re going to have our wall, when you walk in to the left, it’s going to be (photos of) friends and family. Obviously, it’s just going to start with pictures of family, and then as we have customers who come, we’ll add them to our wall of friends and family.”
As for the food, Kramer and Tamburro said they will have all the traditional Italian foods, including, among other things, pastas, chicken parmesan, lasagna and manicotti.
“It’s basically going to be a traditional menu, and then we’re going to run specials on Friday and Saturday night – just different things to see what hits and what doesn’t hit,” Kramer said. “We’re going to have several desserts, but we’re going to have mini cannoli as opposed to the big ones, and the plan is to have seasonal flavors, which a lot of people don’t do. Maybe a chocolate-mint one at Christmastime, or a pumpkin one in the fall; something like that.”
Speaking of desserts, Kramer said she also plans to bring back Tamburro’s famous crème brulee, which they fire for guests at the table – another thing that makes Tamburro’s stand out from the competition.
“I’m so excited,” Kramer said. “I can’t wait!”
If all goes according to plan, Tamburro’s Italian Home will be opening to the public mid-August 2023. The restaurant will be located at 5954 Chalkville Mountain Road, #200, and hours of operation will be Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and closed on Monday.