LocalCatalina Connection

Iconic Catalina Island Restaurant Under New Local Ownership Keeps Its Legacy Alive

AVALON— The Catalina Island establishment, Original Antonio’s Pizzeria, a cherished fixture since 1977, will remain an Avalon staple under new local ownership by Mike and Cinde Cassidy.

 

“Original Antonio’s has been a part of my life – both personally and professionally – for more than four decades,” said Mike Cassidy in a statement. “We’re looking forward to making this family favorite a part of our family of businesses.”

 

The Cassidys, proprietors of multiple thriving businesses on Catalina Island, including Chet’s Hardware, Northwind Refrigeration and Catalina Business Services, officially took over ownership of Original Antonio’s in March. Their intention is to maintain the traditions of Antonio’s with minimal alterations to its operations and menu.

 

The pizzeria’s location on Sumner Avenue has a rich history, having housed Reynolds McCullough’s Reyn’s Men’s Wear until 1958, when the company relocated to Hawaii and transformed into the renowned clothing brand Reyn Spooner. Shortly after, Enzo Paradisi established an Italian deli at the same location. In 1977, the eatery was acquired by the late Jack Tucey, who rebranded it as Antonio’s, crafting it into a family-friendly spot that has remained a tradition for generations. Offering a variety of pizza, pasta and sandwiches, as well as beer and wine, Antonio’s provides an affordable dining experience and also offers to-go options through its convenient service window.

 

“We know what Antonio’s means both to the people who live on the island and those who love to visit Catalina,” said Cinde Cassidy. “There’s a reason this restaurant has survived as long as it has and we will continue providing the great food and fun atmosphere that has made Antonio’s a part of so many lives.”

 

Cassidy confirmed that popular items like cheese crisp, day-old spaghetti and pastrami sandwiches will retain their place on the menu, to accompany the nostalgic 1950s ambiance characterized by checkered tablecloths and classic jukebox tunes. The family intends to introduce enhancements, including an updated wine selection and the potential addition of delivery services.

 

“We won’t be changing any of the things that Antonio’s customers love, but we are hoping to make a few improvements that will ensure that the restaurant survives for another 50 years,” Cinde Cassidy said. “We can’t wait to welcome the restaurant’s many dedicated customers and hope to host many new fans in the near future.”

 

 

Original Antonio’s can be found at 114 Sumner Ave. in Avalon, serving lunch and dinner daily. For more information, please visit http://catalinahotspots.com/original_antonios/.

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