Owning a restaurant is practically a family tradition for brothers Sam and Michael Billelo, who opened Fiori Italian Restaurant and Bar in Flower Mound in 2019.

They come from a family of restaurant owners and spent much of their childhood hanging out at their father’s pizzeria.

But when the time came to choose their own career path, they were not encouraged to join the family enterprise.

“We were told, ‘Do not go into the restaurant business; do not worry about it,’” Sam said. Both brothers spent time following that advice, but knew it just was not for them.

“We tried to do the office world, the business world, but we would rather be in the restaurant business world,” Sam said.

They spent memorable time in their families’ restaurants in Arizona and New York, but the brothers grew up in Texas. After tasting some of the other Italian restaurants in the Flower Mound area, Sam said they felt confident their family recipes could more than compete.

They named the restaurant after their grandmother Daisy—fiori is Italian for flowers—because she helped teach them how to cook. The inside was designed to feel like a rustic Italian farmhouse. Sam said he and Michael spent four months hand-constructing much of the interior.

The key to authentic Italian pasta is simple: it is fresh and handmade, Sam said.

“We make fresh dough every day. It’s very labor intensive. Roll it out, stretch it out. We try to focus on three or four pastas that we make fresh to try to stand out and be different,” Sam said.

Executive Chef Logan Jones, who joined the brothers after working for their father in Phoenix for 10 years, said working at Fiori has reignited his passion for cooking. Jones said making handmade pasta is more of an art than a science.

“You have to have an affinity, a love for it. It sets up the whole dish. The possibilities of what you can create out of the pasta is amazing,” Jones said.

Like many restaurants, Fiori was hard hit by the pandemic and lost half of its staff, but the loyalty of its customers kept the brothers in business, Sam said.

“We had great, great support from the community, to-go orders, bar business, takeout, deliveries,” Sam said. “And now it’s like a boom. A lot of people are coming back out.”

Fiori Italian Restaurant and Bar, 1221 Flower Mound Road, Ste. 100, Flower Mound. 469-630-0096. www.fioriflowermound.com Hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 3-9 p.m.