The acquisition of Tony Mandina's Restaurant in 1980 started as a real estate venture. While working as a furniture executive Tony Mandina worked on the restaurant on weekends and after hours. His plan was to lease the building as a restaurant after repairs were finished. However, upon completion, Tony, Grace and their three daughters decided to open the restaurant themselves. On November 15th,1982, the doors were opened.
The place was small and modest. In the beginning, Grace managed the business while Tony remained in the furniture business. After a few years, Tony joined the restaurant full time and with his full concentration, the business began to expand. Before long there was another expansion and then another to its present status.