Maria D. Bellone
The Story Of Maria's Seaside Cafe
It was a cold, dank January day, back in '94 when our mother, Maria, took her daily walk to Misquamicut Beach. Usually she'd be a speed walker with blinders on. This wasn't one of those days. Suddenly, like a pelican flying over Juno Beach, who spotted a fish, she noticed it! Things would never be the same again.
She made a u-turn and headed home to tell us the news. Luckily she didn't have too far to walk because our home was The Breezeway Resort. The Breezeway Resort has a similar story, but if you'd like, I'll have my father come to your table and tell you over a snifter of Fernetto Branca. If you're late for a movie, you'd better pass on this.
When Maria reached home her cheeks were red like the radicchio in our Arugula Salad and she was out of breath. "Was something wrong?" we wondered. As she spoke, everything became very clear. As my father paced inside of the house wearing his winter coat and famous bocci cap, my mother said, "Nicola, guess what, Dino's is for sale!" My initial reaction was, "We've all gone off the deep end!" Then, silence flooded the room, as we all looked at each other with that knowing glance. Dino's Seafood House was destined to become Maria's Seaside Cafe.
We went full steam ahead with this restaurant idea. After the initial excitement wore off, I felt like the cartoon character, Roadrunner. As you remember, he's running along and then he's gone off a cliff. I thought, "What do you know about restaurants?" Well, I'll tell you, our parents were both born in Italy, so that's a plus. Our mother Maria can make a 9 course meal using an empty refrigerator, but a restaurant is not like cooking at home. Our father enjoys good food and even claims to "know food." After emigrating from Sicily in 1959, he even made pizzas for a short time at the Waterford Speedbowl. Our culinary background didn't end there. My brother Peter can claim to be the 1st pizza deliverer in town, when he worked at the old Pizza Pub. Finally, during college I was a busboy at the T.G.I. Friday's in Melbourne, Florida. Our biggest asset was that we didn't know we could run a successful restaurant. We just did it.
Since opening night July 8, 1994, like an Italian opera, we've had some highs and lows, mostly highs! We truly have lots of great people to thank for our success, so thank you! (You know who you are!) Ultimately, our success lies in the patronage of our friends from the community who return season after season. So whether you are from Westerly, Windsor Locks, White Plains or Wequetequock, you're all family. Enjoy the ravioli, have a glass of Chianti, and enjoy the company. Thanks for coming!
John for The Bellone Family