PINO’S ORIGINAL SAUCE HISTORY:
In early 1958 Giuseppe “Pino” Fortunato Farinola immigrated to America aboard the ocean liner “Ile De France.” Pino would follow in the footsteps of his father in continuing in the restaurant business.* He soon settled in Houston and quickly found work as a cook at Maxim’s when it was still located downtown and would eventually move on to Villa Roma’s Restaurant in Riverside. There, in the evenings, after the restaurant had closed, Pino began to mass produce his homemade Cannelloni, Lasagna and tomato sauce. He would sell it to other restaurants in the area. He had created a profitable business of his own.
The year was now 1960, and at the young age of 29, Pino met a bright eyed young beauty named Lenora Dayhoff. The couple would wed two and a half weeks later and two short months after that, together Pino and Lenora opened Pino’s Italian Restaurant at its original location on 3000 Cullen Blvd. by the University of Houston. The restaurant was in an old home that was converted to a dining room of 50 chairs and kitchen. The students from the University of Houston quickly discovered Pino's as their new favorite restaurant little restaurant. For about $1.50 they could enjoy an authentic Italian home cooked meal.
In 1970 Pino’s Italian Restaurant took a great gamble and they sold “the house” and pooled their resources to by a piece of land at the corner of Hillcroft and Westheimer. The area was relatively undeveloped, and having already extended themselves, opening the new restaurant became critical. To save time and money brothers, Pino and Adriano, brought with them the original blueprints to the old house on Cullen and would duplicate that building at their new location on 2711 Hillcroft. The brothers had a plan, open the restaurant and if it succeeds they could expand later. Later turned out to be around three months, for business was booming in 1970. This constant change and expansion would become the famous trademark or rather never ending remodeling story of Pino’s until it would reach it’s final size of 200 seats.
In 2004 Pino retired and sold the land on Hillcroft and Westheimer. As many of our dear customers already know, there is also a second Pino - Jr.
"I am proud to present to our loyal customers in Houston, the tomato sauce that comes from our kitchen to yours. It is with the utmost respect that I continue my father's legacy of authentic Italian food within the city that has always been so good to us. It is exciting to share our fresh and delicious sauce made with only the finest ingredients with all of you!"
Pino Farinola Jr
*Visit www.pinosrestaurant.com to read the complete history of Pino & Pino’s Italian Restaurant plus see several photos of the many changes that took place over the many years.