My first career was as a prizefighter. My last fight was on the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports on TV, the original Friday Night Fights. I fought Buddy Edenfield in Miami. I won by TKO in the 6th round but ended up with a detached retina. Won the fight but lost the war. After training fighters for a while I came back to Boston. I’m from here. I was raised in Roslindale, graduated from Roslindale High School.
I guess you could say I went from the fire of the ring to the frying pan. I’ve been in the restaurant and bar business since 1967. Opened up my first place in Roslindale, had to buy up the 1st, 2nd and 3rd mortgage to do it. It was a nightclub called the Party Lounge. We played rock’n roll music and the place was packed all the time. Eventually it got too crazy for me, we had more fights there than Madison Square Garden!
It was then that I started my love affair with owning restaurants. I turned the Party Lounge into Casa Beirut. We served Middle Eastern food and had a great run for 6 years but eventually we shifted to serving the food I grew up on, Italian food. We called it Vinny Marino’s Casa. While all this was going on I got involved in the fast food, health food industry with a company called Natural Eats. My partner and I opened up 24 stores around the country. Later I opened up the Banana Boat restaurant in Boca Raton, Florida and ran it for 30 years.
Over the years I’ve owned over 40 restaurants. My main business since 1985 has been real estate development but owning places where people can eat and drink and enjoy themselves has been my main love. People work hard and they deserve to spend their money at a place where people care. I’ve always liked to create things. I love to find new dishes and serve them to our patrons.
The best night of my life happened when my old world as prizefighter intersected with my life as a restaurant owner. Back in Miami I trained at the same gym with Muhammad Ali. Ali was in Boston about 15 years ago with his entourage and they wanted an Italian meal. His limo driver suggested “Vinny Marino’s” and Ali immediately asked if it was the boxer from Boston, Ali remembered. He showed up with 20 people and we had a night I’ll never forget.
People ask me why I still do this at my age. I love owning a restaurant; this is my passion and it gives me the most joy. Since we opened the Brickhouse Café as a family restaurant in 2005, the clientele have been great. I’m so grateful that people still love to come to my restaurant. I like to say, “Come to My House”. I hope you do.
THE BRICKHOUSE CAFE
107 Bridge Street
Dedham, MA 02026
Reservations are recommended, particularly for large parties and during peak hours. Walk-ins are always welcome. To make a reservation, call 781.326.1980 or click the link above. Please limit reservations to 90 minutes.
There is plenty of parking available on either side of the restaurant.