The History of Valentino's Cafe
In 1911, John Valentino came to America from Italy to work at the Hamilton Watch Factory. After 13 years, he had saved enough money to purchase the Red Rose grocery store on Rider Avenue. He then returned to Italy to marry his wife Anna. They returned to America and ran the business as a barber shop and grocery store, where Anna made and sold homemade Italian food. In 1937, they obtained a restaurant liquor license and turned the barber shop into a bar room, where Anna continued to maker her homemade spaghetti sauce.
After the death of John in 1972, his oldest son John and his wife Janet took over the day-to-day operation of the business. Janet passed away in 1996, but John continued the business with the help of his four daughters and son-in-law. John passed away in 2014. The restaurant/bar is now run by the 3rd and 4th generation and family. It is a "Cheers" type bar where everyone knows one another and you'll definitely make some new friends if you're visiting for the first time! The restaurant still serves the original meatsauce recipe that Anna Valentino served from the beginning. The family prides themselves on being one of the last family owned neighborhood bar/restaurants left in the city of Lancaster and would love to have you come visit!
Valentino's has been a staple in the West End Lancaster community for many years. In recent years it has become well-known for it's Groundhog's Day celebration. It started in 2009 when a few bar patrons were bored and decided to host a parade for the holiday that most don't celebrate. In the years following the event grew to something Valentino's never expected. Now, hundreds of people meet in the parking lot each year for this holiday. People make their own floats, dress in outfits to remember, bring their animals (goats included) and family members to march in the parade. All are welcome and it's always a day to remember.