Tofanelli’s ownership celebrates 10th anniversary

April 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of ownership of Tofanelli’s casual Italian-American bistro and to celebrate, Tofanelli’s will offer a daily (except Sundays) $10 special on popular menu items such as prime rib tostadas, crab cakes, shrimp or chicken caesar salad and fish tacos.

Husband and wife partners Frank Cooney and Susan Purdy purchased Tofanelli’s in April of 2006, bringing with them over 40 years of restaurant ownership experience.

Frank and his family have owned and operated restaurants in San Francisco, San Jose and Los Gatos for decades and Susan opened her first restaurant with her mother, a breakfast and lunch restaurant called The Golden Egg Omelet House, in 1974 in San Rafael/Novato. The award-winning Golden Egg Omelet House, eventually expanded to 13 locations in both Northern and Southern California and Nevada.

Before opening The Golden Egg Omelet House, Susan was a stewardess (it wasn’t until after airlines began hiring men that the title was changed to “flight attendants”) for Trans International Airlines and traveled all over the world out of its home base at Oakland International Airport.

Frank is now in his sixth decade as a professional sports journalist. His career began with the San Francisco Examiner in 1965. Frank is the founder and publisher of The Sports Xchange and and is in his 26th year on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

“We moved here from Novato in the Bay Area to retire,” said Susan Purdy. “We had no intention of owning or operating another restaurant, but we had dinner at Tofanelli’s and fell in love with the place and with downtown Grass Valley.”

In the 10 years since they took over Tofanelli’s, Susan and Frank have made significant changes that created the popular restaurant it is today. Soon after taking over in 2006, they added breakfast to the menu, taking the most popular items from the successful Golden Egg Omelet Houses – the 101 omelet menu being the best example.

In 2008, Tofanelli’s opened a full bar and in 2009 the upper patio was finished and the restaurant’s offerings were expanded with the installation of an outdoor barbecue grill, smoker and fryer. Tofanelli’s is the proud recipient of The Union Newspaper’s Best Patio Dining Award for the past 9 years in a row as well as honors for Best Lunch and Best BBQ over the past 10 years.

In 2015, Tofanelli’s rebranded itself by changing its tagline from Gold Country bistro to casual Italian-American bistro to better define the restaurant to visitors and locals alike.

Frank and Susan are happy to be celebrating its 10th Anniversary with their loyal customers in Grass Valley and Nevada County.

—By Tofanelli’s

(Photo: Rick Tracewell)

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