On December 28, 1979, Sal Timperio opened Sal’s Place at 99 Vineyard Avenue in the hamlet of Highland. To mark this 40 year milestone, Sal is throwing a holiday party at his restaurant on Saturday, December 28 with the festivities getting underway at 2 p.m.
Timperio had worked at other food establishments for 10 years before opening his own place in 1979. He recalled how this all came about.
“I happened to stop in here one night and John Blanc, who was the owner at the time it was ‘Cousins’, approached me and asked me if I’d be interested in buying the place,” Timperio said. “I told him I had no money and he was gracious enough to say I’ll hold the mortgage for you. I had a ‘59 Corvette that I bought when I was 16 years old and I ended up selling that for the down-payment.”
Timperio laughed when he remembers what his restaurant looked like 40 years ago.
“It took a lot of different turns from when I first took it over. It was a rough joint when I had a pool table and now we do more food and it’s a lot calmer and we’re a lot older,” he said with a smile.
Timperio takes great satisfaction in his business because of the customers.
“Just seeing everybody every week, every day they come in smiling, kidding around and joking,” he said. “I’m happy to see them when they’re eating and telling you the food is really good.”
Timperio said at his holiday party he will have a free buffet and will be giving out some shirts; “It will probably run until 5 or 6 p.m.” He thinks he will offer food items that he started out with in 1979, stuffed Italian meatloaf, eggplant parmigiana; “all my mother’s recipes that I’ve been making.”
Timperio said everybody is welcome,” even just to say hello, have a drink, eat and go over old times and reminisce.”
Timperio is not ready to retire any time soon. He has plans before the town to open a 6,000 sq. /ft. plus catering hall to host events such as weddings, funerals and birthday parties. It is being proposed on a parcel just north of Bagels & Bites on Route 9W. He is hoping to start construction in the spring.