Where were you in ’82?
“Let’s Get Physical” by Olivia Newton-John and “The Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor were the biggest hits of the year on the radio. Ronald Reagan was the 40th president of the United States, and “Cheers” was the most popular TV show on the air, about the regulars at a Boston Bar, “where everybody knows your name.”
So, where were you in ’82? Hopefully, at the opening of Alfonso’s Italian Restaurant.
Owner Pete Colombo is celebrating the 35th anniversary of his popular neighborhood restaurant in Olde Lake Highlands. “We originally opened in Casa Linda,” he says, “where the Albertsons is now. We didn’t have a liquor license there.”
A lot has changed in 35 years, but not the delicious garlic rolls served up at Alfonso’s. A move to the current location off Buckner—behind the Green Spot—kept the restaurant close, so neighbors could still enjoy the pastas, pizzas and family atmosphere they first enjoyed in Casa Linda Plaza.
The restaurant will celebrate the 35th anniversary on Monday, October 2 at dinner and Tuesday, October 3 at both the lunch and dinner times. Lunch is 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and dinner is 4:00 p.m. to close at 9:30 p.m. with extended hours until 10:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Pete is happy to be celebrating his 35th year at the restaurant because he knows the average independent “stand alone” restaurant only stay open for eight months.
And he took advice from a friend, Tom Deighton, who told him to get back to being the Italian restaurant he’d been known for: delicious food and a friendly, family atmosphere—not a cheap, ‘discount’ fast-food place. “People will always pay for a good product, Tom told me,” Pete said,
“So I took his advice and adjusted our prices, and made sure our food was as delicious as ever.”
Two years ago, Pete expanded the small bar area as part of the total remodel of the dining area. It now seats 16. A recently introduced “Ladies Night” at the bar, which offers half priced entrees on Thursday nights for female patrons sitting at the bar, has become a tremendously popular affair. It’s not unusual to see the bar filling up a few minutes after five as female friends and neighbors trickle in for a glass of wine and a delicious meal.
So why did Pete Colombo name his place “Alfonso’s?”
“When we opened in 1982, there was already a local Pizza Place called ‘Colombo’s,’ so I couldn’t use that name.” His backup plan was to honor his father by using his first name.
Not surprisingly, the original “Colombo’s” folded soon after opening. And Alfonso’s by contrast, is known to produce some of the best pizza in the state. And this year Pete has added a variety of cakes for desert, including Key Lime Cake, Coconut and Italian Wedding cake.
And the most ordered entrée? “Chicken Parmesan,” Pete says.
While Alfonso’s is often compared to the bar in “Cheers,” – ‘Where everybody knows your name,’ the local celebrities who dine at Alfonso’s are safe. “We believe in the privacy of our guests,” Pete says, so he doesn’t name names.
This week begins something new: a delivery service bringing his delicious food to his neighbors within a three-mile radius. He’s keeping up with the times, recognizing that some of the restaurant’s neighbors are older and prefer not to drive at night, and many are new neighbors with small children at home, so it’s a chore to load them up into the car to go out to eat. And good news for the neighbors: there is no delivery fee.
In addition to the free delivery service, the restaurant has launched a new and improved lunch menu this month.
While D Magazine lauded Alfonso’s as “The Best Neighborhood Restaurant,” and The Dallas Observer has recognized it in its “Best of Dallas” list, Pete Colombo just wants his neighbors and long-time patrons to enjoy a delicious meal in a comfortable atmosphere. Some patrons come from as far as Oak Cliff and north Plano to meet friends and dine on the delicious food. Celebrating a 35th milestone on October 2 and 3 is one way to thank his many fans from all over the metroplex next month—and hopefully, for the next 35 years!
Owner Pete Colombo is treating his neighbors and customers to cake from Casa Linda Bakery on October 2nd at dinner and October 3rd at lunch and dinner in celebration of his restaurant’s 35th anniversary. Alfonso’s is located at 718 N. Buckner Boulevard, behind the Green Spot.
Alfonso’s will be participating for the first time at “A Taste of Bishop Lynch,” the Homecoming party inside the Atrium of the school on Friday, October 13, 2017.
Alfonso’s Italian Restaurant is at 718 N. Buckner Blvd #222 Dallas, TX 75218.
To order for delivery: call 214-327-7777 or on line: www.alfonsositalianrestaurant.com
Judy Porter is a writer in Dallas. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org