Tony Cabral's love of good food and dream of owning his own restaurant was realized after his marriage to Olivia Luis. His journey began in the bi-centennial year 1976, when he purchased an old truck which was converted to a snow cone wagon. He and Olivia went into the neighborhood selling snow cones made with his family's syrup recipe for 25 cents each.
This went so well that Tony soon added another truck and opened a small neighborhood store where he also sold snow cones. Soon, he expanded his menu to add food: hamburgers, tacos, homemade tamales, BBQ lamb head and menudo. In 1978, he realized his dream and opened a restaurant in Riverside, California, naming it "Olivia's" after his wife. Olivia jokes that while dating Tony he promised to someday put her name up in lights, but he failed to tell her she would be working in the kitchen.
Olivia, the eldest of six, lost her mother at the age of seven in an automobile accident. She soon took charge, helping her father, a steel worker, around the house and in the kitchen. Tony, the eldest of ten, quit school to help his father, a construction worker, provide for his family. Whenever his mother Ruby, a great cook, was in the kitchen, Tony was sure to be around observing and asking questions. Olivia and Tony's experience taking charge at early ages would help them through the early, lean years in their restaurant. Olivia's major in business and Tony's knowledge of construction proved valuable to their success.
With the help of family and good friends, and using old family reciepes, Tony and Olivia created the great dishes that are still being served today. Now, Tony is semi-retired. He still continues to oversee the quality of his food. Olivia has now taken full charge of the restaurant along with daughter Anna, son Mario, and daughter-in-law Vanessa. And, recently added to "Olivia's" P.R. list is granddaughter Consuelo and grandson Mario Jr. These two have already learned how to make you feel welcomed and part of Olivia's family.
If you're not from Riverside, Olivia's is a must visit. Come see us once and we guarantee you will be back!