George Fatouros says his father always told him, “If you’re going to open a shop, do it near a train station”.
He has followed the advice in opening a second FX (Food Exchange) eatery at Sutherland after the success over the last five years of his first outlet in Denman Avenue, Caringbah.
The new business is in the shop that previously housed Stapletons butcher shop, which closed in 2017 after 121 years in the main street.
FX’s takeaway and eat-in menu, described as “fresh food casual”, ranges from chicken packs, burgers and wraps to baked dinners, salads and pastas.
The Fatouros family has a long history in food shops at Caringbah.
Jim Fatouros, George’s father, opened Caringbah Seafoods on top of the station in 1959 and his wife Nikki opened Caringbah Charcoal Chicken next door in 1985.
The chicken shop was sold in 2004 and the fish shop in 2014.
Jim Fatouros died in 2008.
“I worked for my parents from when I left school in 1991,” George Fatouros said.
“It was always my dad’s plan to have a big shop that combined both the fish and chicken shops at the top of the station, but the railways wouldn’t give us a lease to invest in it,.
“I would have preferred to have opened FX at the top of the station, but the lease they offered didn’t add up.
“I was worried they might kick us out if they developed it for apartments.”
Mr Fatouros said the history of the Sutherland shop was a big attraction to him expanding to that location.
“My family has been in Caringbah for 60 years and I like the history of businesses that have a good run,” he said.
Mr Fatouros said lunch time business had been very good since the Sutherland shop opened on September 12.
“Dinner is taking a bit longer to build up, but that was also the case at Caringbah, and dinner there is now bigger than lunch,” he said.
Mr Fatouros said the development of a large number of apartment blocks at Sutherland would also bring a lot of new residents to the area.