A rockin’ burger joint

David Portelli is a self-described “car and bike mad” man.
That’s why it was a shock when he sold off his $20,000 Harley Super Glide Custom in exchange for the chance to set up his own ’50s diner in Gisborne.
He and his partner Tanya purchased the former ‘Flamin’ Chicken’ restaurant on Brantome Street two months ago and have gradually begun the transformation to bring back a little bit of Happy Days.
Their joint love of the era will see the shop, Rockin’ Chicken ‘n’ Burgers, fitted out with booth seating, traditional milkshakes and burgers added to the original menu, and a lot of classic car and bike paraphernalia to browse.
“We don’t think anyone else is doing this kind of thing,” Dave said.
“We love the ’50s and a lot of this (signage, photos and decor) is straight from our home. We are just excited to bring something new to the town.”
With four children of their own, the couple plans to host ’50s themed family friendly evenings where people will be encouraged to dress for the era and enjoy a few old tunes on the jukebox over dinner. Eat in and take-away options will be offered.
They also hope to introduce a photo wall where local residents and fellow car/bike lovers can show off their pride and joy.
For Dave, who has been riding bikes and driving cars his whole life, the passion for riding will never fade. He has just joined the Macedon Ranges ULYSSES branch and has started a small ‘bike fund’ toward a replacement bike to get back on the road.

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