Some people have blood in their veins, our family has tomato sauce.

Family tradition continues at Four Brothers Restaurant

“Some people have blood in their veins, our family has tomato sauce.”

The Marinelli family in Niagara Falls have the perfect recipe.

That’s why the Four Brothers Restaurant on Ferry St. has been able to stay in business for 50 years.

NiagaraFalls-FourBrothers-ReviewThey have great food. They have great staff. They have great loyal customers who keep coming back because they are made to feel like part of the family.

Those are the ingredients for success, said Gabriele Marinelli, 74, one of the four brothers who literally helped build the business from the ground up – by helping to dig the foundation for the building.

The restaurant was established in the summer of 1964 by Giacinto and Laura Marinelli and their four sons, Nicola, Vincenzo, Gabriele and Ugo.

Eventually, the parents handed down the business to their sons, who each took control during various periods. Over time, Ugo acquired the restaurant and became sole proprietor. His lifelong dream was to own one of the finest restaurants in Niagara Falls. In 1982, Ugo married his soulmate, Michelle, but he passed away two years later.

Michelle not only had the responsibility of running the restaurant, but caring for her infant son, Michael. With help from members of the Marinelli family and friends, they were able to keep the restaurant operating.

“I like to treat people like they are a guest in my home,” said Michelle, who now carries on the long and proud tradition of running the restaurant with her son, Michael, who basically grew up around the business.

“Basically, we make everything from scratch. People like that it’s home-made and your customers end up becoming your friends. I enjoy being with people,” said Michelle, who has no plans to retire anytime soon because the restaurant continues to play such an important part in her life.

And what does she like to eat?

“A plate of spaghetti still makes me happy. That’s my favourite,” said Michelle.

To mark their 50th anniversary the restaurant has been completely renovated, both inside and out.

Gabriele credits his mother and father for teaching him the fundamentals about cooking, which he has always followed. Start with the best food available, take great care in the preparation, and never forget that without your customers you have no business.

“We have some people that have been with us for more than 40 years. That doesn’t happen every day. You need the cooperation of the people who work with you and need to keep them happy,” said Gabriele.

Michael, who works as an accountant in St. Catharines, helps his mother at the restaurant whenever possible.

“I’ve been helping out since I was 14-years-old,” said Michael. “It’s nice to work with your family members and it’s great to see customers who have been coming in for such a long time.”

He’s proud to continue where his father left off.

“We do our best to give the best possible product and we want to make sure this tradition carries on. Some people have blood in their veins, our family has tomato sauce,” he said.


By Tony Ricciuto, Niagara Falls Review
Monday, May 5, 2014 5:41:08 EDT PM
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