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Vince's a Family Tradition!

Vince's a Family Tradition!

Crystal May Ainardi (September 4, 2008)
old school Italian restaurant

Vince's is a family tradition for many in the Seattle area, as It had once settled in the heart of the ole "garlic gulch".




“Where are we going for my birthday dinner grandpa?”, “Vince’s” Grandpa would reply. Vince’s restaurant had become a long standing family tradition when it came to our families’ birthdays. I always asked where we were going, but I knew the answer; dinner would be at Vince’s then cake back at grandma and grandpa’s. All I would eat as a kid was spaghetti, and ravioli. Vince’s served me the best spaghetti, and was the only thing I ordered off their menu until I was well into adulthood.

The history of Vince’s takes places back in the heart of Napoli. Ada and Enzo Vince Mottola, were childhood friends who grew up in the same area of the city Napoli in Italy. And over the years the childhood friends fell in love. Ada’s family disapproved of their relationship as they knew Vince’s intentions were to go to the United States. After the two were married in the 1950s despite families’ approval they set their eyes to the west seeing that there were little opportunities of growth in Southern Italy in those times. They came and settled in the mid-fifties to an area in Seattle once commonly called “garlic gulch” for its large Italian population.

 In Napoli, Vince had once worked for a well established catering company. He had a passion for cooking and in 1957; his dream of working with food and cooking came true in America. Him and Ada formed “Vince's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria” on Othello and Empire Way South which is now the street Martin Luther King Jr. Way running from Seattle to Renton. He ran the kitchen and Ada ran the cash register, and tables. Their ideas of the restaurant were simple; wonderful authentic Italian food at an affordable price just like it had been in Napoli.

The “garlic gulch” has changed over the years and the original Vince's is now gone. But a number of other Vince’s popped up since 1957 including my families’ birthday tradition place in the Renton Highlands; the others include Rainier Beach, Burien, and Federal Way.The son of Vince and Ada now runs the company, Vince Mottola Jr. In an interview last September when “Vince’s” celebrated its fifty year anniversary Vince Jr. stated "One couple told us they had their first date 49 years ago at the restaurant at Empire Way and Othello," Vince Mottola Jr. says. "They got married a year later and they've been coming to Vince's ever since. That's very humbling.” This restaurant is so loved by the customers they come year after year. It is also so loved by the city of Seattle that the Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels proclaimed the month September. "Vince's Italian Restaurant Pizzeria Month". This September Vince’s restaurant will be celebrating 51 years.So here’s to you “Vince’s” I’ve been coming to see you for twenty-eight years, here’s to more of my families’ birthday traditions, and your wonderful spaghetti! Complimenti alla cuoca!!

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