Minard’s Spaghetti Inn turns 85 in Clarksburg, West Virginia this month State Magazine News

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WV News) – Minard’s Spaghetti Inn, the oldest Italian restaurant in North Virginia, turns 85 this month.







Clarksburg’s Minard’s Spaghetti Inn has been open for 85 years this May.




“(It’s pretty amazing. We’ve owned it for three generations. What makes it special is that it’s my grandmother’s house. It’s very difficult to explain because we used to play there as children. You used to go to your grandmother’s house and that’s it.” Owners of.

“In fact, we are the oldest Italian restaurant in the area, and the second oldest in the state of West Virginia. We’re turning 85 this year, so we’ve been here for a while, ”said Heather Gillespie, CEO of Minard’s Spaghetti Inn, in a previous interview.







Minard CEO Heather Gillespie

Heather Gillespie, CEO of Minard’s, makes spaghetti and meatballs dishes.




Minardi noted that the circumstances surrounding the opening of the restaurant are special, since it was created out of necessity.

“I think that’s how the uniqueness of this place came about. It wasn’t created because they wanted to make a restaurant. They had to figure out how to make money. My grandfather was fired.” said Minardi.

“My grandmother used to serve spaghetti from the dining room table, which is that big brown table when she came in. That’s her dining room table in the same place,” Minardi said.







Minard's dining table

Rose Minard’s dining table is still in use at Minard’s Spaghetti Inn.




After starting the restaurant in 1937, Michael and Rose Minard went to the market for workers at a nearby tin mill.

In 1938, Michael’s brother Samuel and Samuel’s wife, Agnes, entered the business as Minard became known among the locals, and this has been the case ever since.

“There was a first mill in the Summit Park area. During shift changes, people would walk out of there to serve extra money serving spaghetti. Then when they released it and had to find a job, it opened more in a regular restaurant,” Minardi said.

“Then it became popular and they brought my aunt and uncle who lived in the other unit next door and a few years later they opened the whole first floor. That’s how it really started to bloom. There’s always been a lot of people. Involved, family involved,” Minardi said.

Eventually, the restaurant was bigger than the house it started, so the Minard family gradually started to grow the house as it is today in the restaurant.







Minard's Spaghetti Inn sign

Minard’s began as a humble home operation before growing up in the large-sized restaurant it is known today.




With three generations of ownership, Minard has served at least many generations of customers.

“As we grew up there, so did many of our customers. When they were kids, their parents would take them out of the church on Sunday or Friday night. When I was younger, I would cook in the kitchen. said Minardi.

“You’d see the same faces and as people grew older, little kids would one day show up there for their prom zither and then they would get older and they’re doing wedding rehearsal dinners and things like that,” Minardi said.







Spaghetti from the inn

As the name suggests, spaghetti is what created Minard’s Spaghetti Inn and has kept customers coming back for decades.




This loyalty of generational customers has helped make Minard a special place for some families.

“From generation to generation, when they were kids, they used to go there. Then they become young adults and then when they have kids and a family, they still come back, so it’s been a cycle,” Minardi said.

“People have been around and become part of their family in many ways,” Minardi said.

Being the oldest restaurant in the area, it was the birthplace of several household names in the Italian restaurants around Minard’s.

“If you look at places in North West Virginia as well as places in South West Virginia, they all started in a kitchen and there’s Kelly Hill in Minard’s. I think there are at least four other restaurants that were born right now. In Minard,” he said. Minardik.

“It’s special to know that most of the Italian restaurants in this area — Oliverio’s, Twin Oaks, Muriale’s — all started here. They had their roots here in Minard’s,” Gillespie said.

The recipes have changed, but the roots of the Italian cuisine in the area are very deep and go back to Minard.

“When you go to these other places, it’s not all the same, but you’ll see how similar the dishes were at one time because it was the only recipe. Each one put it on its turn, I’m sure, and things changed.”

“Apart from being the first and long-standing establishment of which we are a large part of our heritage, it is the birthplace of many other places (which is) the reason for so many independent Italian restaurants. North Central West Virginia,” Minardi said.

To celebrate the 85th anniversary milestone, Minard’s will be celebrating the summer, starting with specials this month.

“We’ve prepared a bunch of things for this month. One of the most popular things we do, and we usually only do it a couple of times a year … We make an Italian buffet and we’ll do that once. It’s Saturday night through May,” Minardi said.

“In fact, our birthday is on May 24. We’ll have another special night on May 24. We’ll have music and stuff like that,” Minardi said. “I know we’re going to do something on May 24th where the Italian Festival accordion player will be there … We’re going to do some nice things.”

Weekly offers and Saturday buffets will be on offer until May.

“We’re doing Saturday night buffets and then our plan is for anniversary night. All you can eat will be spaghetti or rigaton for $ 10. Then we’ll have a couple more like sampler dishes.” said Minardi.

“Of course we have Minard’s favorite couple for two people. We were born in 1937, so we’ll charge $ 19.37 and you’ll get a share of the appetizer, you get soup and salads – a two-way combination … I think that’s going to be a big hit. “These will be from Monday to Friday, and of course on Saturday night, you have a buffet,” Minardi said.

The party doesn’t stop at the end of the month, Minardi said, as Minard plans to celebrate it throughout the summer until the Italian Heritage Festival.

“We will not stop at the end of May. We will extend this over the summer,” Minardi said.

“Once May is over, we will look at June and continue with the anniversary celebrations until the Italian Festival, and that will be the culmination of it all,” Minardi said.

Regardless of the situation, Minard can always trust its customers, Minardi said.

“It’s pretty amazing to see it today, because you can see the restaurants coming and going. Something like this that has been going on for eight and a half decades is pretty amazing,” Minardi said. “You’ll always open up competitors – big chains, other independent restaurants – but as long as you keep the same quality of food and the same attention to detail, we’ve got a lot of wood. Storms.”

“It’s never easy to have an independent restaurant, even in the best of times. But when COVID came out, it was very difficult to get your customers back. Of course, everything else goes wrong with inflation. Then (there’s) competition. We. I open a big chain “They’re coming at all times. It’s going to hit. It’s going to hurt a little bit. Everyone likes to try a new place, but our loyal customers will be there,” Minardi said.

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