Al Caniglia, Mary Caniglia (Marino)
and Mister C
The long and short of it…
The Caniglia family:
From our origins in Carlentini, Sicily the Caniglias have
earned their place in Omaha’s rich and distinguished restaurant history. With humble beginnings in the family
bakery to introducing pizza to the Midwest, for nearly a century Caniglia owned restaurants had a place in Omaha’s culinary landscape.
Caniglia’s Royal Boy Drive-in
A few years after returning from WW II, Mister C made the
decision to leave the family restaurant (Caniglia’s Pizzaria) and start his own venture. Drive-ins were already becoming pop-culture on the West Coast but there were few in Omaha. 1953, Mister C purchased a small operation (Marshall’sDrive-in) with five stools behind the counter and car hop service. He renamed it, "Caniglia’s Royal Boy". The small drive-in soon became “the place to meet up” with the local teenagers and a wholesome entertaining atmosphere to bring the entire family.
By the way, Mister C’s got its name from the car hops at the Royal Boy. They called the boss, “Mister “C”.
The success and
expansion of the
eventually be its
downfall. Mister C's
dining reached a crossroads with the outdoor drive-In operation. In the late ‘60’s Mister C closed the drive-in and concentrated his efforts on a finer dining style.
Mister C’s talent for flair and innovation combined with hard work and sacrifice made his restaurant venture a success far beyond what anyone had imagined. In 1988 Mister C's was cited by “Nation's Restaurant News” magazine as one of the USA's leading independent restaurants. 1988 was also the debut of Mister C’s grand outdoor garden, “The Piazza di Maria”.
With a changing
Mister C’s advanced
age, in September
of 2007 it was time
to retire the
become family. Relationships founded then, continue now with our family and generations that graced our doors. Mister C and Mrs. C were the foundation, but what kept us all going were the wonderful people we met and served along the way. In 2013 Mister C was was inducted into the Omaha Hospitality Hall of Fame.
Mister C’s Wholesale Foods –
Demand for our Italian dressing started it all. The dressing was made, bottled and sold at the drive-in. In 1988 Mister C’s son Larry Caniglia formed "Mister C's Wholesale Foods, Inc" and introduced our dressing and sauce to Omaha grocery stores. The rest is history in the making, Mister C's is now available in many states throughout the Midwest
“Behind Every Successful Man There Is A Strong Woman”,
Mrs. C was the embodiment of that quote. Without her, there wouldn’t have been a Mister C’s.
Mrs. C prided herself in being a
meticulous bookkeeper and she
also had a special gift for writing.
Her quiet unostentatious
philanthropy, will live on through
the many lives she has touched.
- David Caniglia