THE ISLE OF CAPRI
When walking up the sidewalk. You might think you were about to enter a private
residence. Then you notice the neon sign on the building that reads, Italian
Dominic Anthony Giacomo had a dream from the time he was a young boy, to have an
Italian restaurant. His mother and father came from Italy and married at an
early age. His father worked in the coalmines and the family didn't have a lot
of money. In fact, they were very poor. Dom, as he was called, was the next to
the youngest child in six. His first job was at the Pig-N- Whistle Restaurant in
McAlester, washing dishes. He would work until very late, walk home to Krebs,
get a few hours sleep and get up and go to school. This was all to help support
his family. He wanted very badly to have his own Italian restaurant and make
sure that his mother would never have to do without again. Dom spent time in the
US Navy, and upon returning, decided to finally make his dream come true.
Although it was not easy, he obtained the money, with the help of his very close
friend, Pat Perkins, owner of Rexall drugstore in McAlester, the planning began.
Dom decided to design the restaurant like a home, in case his business did not
fare well. This is the reason it looks like a private home at first glance.
A former prisoner of War Camp, located in Krebs, was being torn down. Being the
shrewd businessman he was, Dom decided to purchase some of the lumber. The
construction started and the enterprise known as the Isle Of Capri opened for
business on Mother's Day in 1950.
Dom Giacomo had a motto, Together we stand, divided we fall. Needless to say,
his whole family helped him with the business. Particularly his sister Minnie
Giacomo Duff. Minnie, who owned the business, passed it down to her daughter
Rose Ann Duff Robertson.
Dom's menu consisted of homemade ravioli, spaghetti and meatballs, and entrees
of steak, chicken and lamb fries. Of course salad, garlic bread and homemade
French-fries. And what would the food have been without the infamous Choc
The business gradually grew and Dom had yet another dream, to branch out and
build another restaurant. Ten years later, in I960, he opened his second
restaurant, Giacomos. With all of the family helping with that one as well.
In 1972 a fire partially destroyed the Isle of Capri, but Dom did not let this
stop him from having what he wanted. It took a little time; the Isle of Capri
preserved and came back bigger and better. The Isle as everyone calls it today
went from one dining room and small kitchen area, to three large dining rooms.
The worst tragedy of all came in October of 1974, when Dominic Anthony Giacomo
passed away at the age of 50. The family was grief stricken, but pushed on
because they knew that Dom would not have wanted his dream to diminish. Dom's
sister Minnie took over along with her Children, and spouses. In 1975 Minnie
decided to retire and let her children run the business.
Another tragedy bestowed our family on March IS, 2003 when Minnie passed away
leaving her daughter Rose Ann Robertson to on carry the dream of her Uncle Dom
as she is still doing today. Now when you walk in the door you still see
familiar faces. Louis Duff, Minnie's son will be in the kitchen. Don Robertson,
husband of Rose Ann, mans the salad bar and manages all aspects of the business
with Rose Ann.
Now handling the restaurant the way Uncle Dom always dreamed, Rose Ann had
dreams of her own. In 1994 the menu was broadened. In 1996 Rose Ann decided to
go even further with her dream and added a large banquet room, outside dinning
and new lunch hours, and an extraordinary bar.
The Isle has survived marry trials and tribulations though the years. You know
that whenever you walk through the door, you will see a friendly face. You will
be getting the best food and family style service to be found anywhere. The Isle
has been a family tradition since 1950 and will be for years to come.