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Foundation and Ownership
Upon emigrating from Palermo, Italy in 1898, Sebastian Mandina moved to Mid-City, New Orleans. Seeing a need for a grocery store located in the heavily residential area, Mandina decided to open a self-titled store at 3800 Canal Street. Sebastian’s two sons, Frank and Anthony, watched the business grow and evolve from a local grocery into a pool-hall that sold sandwiches. The brothers later went on to transform the business once again, this time into a neighborhood restaurant. Both brothers lived above their businesses, along with Anthony’s wife Hilda. 
As World War II began, the brothers left to serve their country and the restaurant was left in Hilda’s hands.  After returning to New Orleans, Hilda and Anthony had a child, Anthony Thomas Mandina, whom they nicknamed Tommy. Raised above the restaurant, Tommy was involved in the business throughout his childhood and adolescence, working as a bartender while attending high school and college. Later on, Tommy decided to dabble in other professions, such as light bulb sales and life insurance, separating himself from the family business. 
However, in 1972, Anthony suffered a heart attack. Tommy began working in the restaurant full-time alongside his mother, Hilda. In 1979, Hilda passed away and Frank followed, passing away six years later. 
Around the same time, Tommy took over the restaurant and soon he fathered his own two children, daughters Cindy and Valerie. Kept away from the restaurant for the most part, it was only on Sundays at lunch spent with Hilda that the young girls were exposed to the fast-paced environment.