It seems that there is no stopping Gus Chinonis! This 81 year old is back again doing what he loves best! That is, creating food the people will love.
Chinonis is the brains behind the Yaya’s Flame Broiled Chicken. The food chain, which was started in the 1980’s, had 42 restaurants in different locations nationwide before selling it last year.
The itch to provide people good food didn’t leave him, however. This time, Chinonis has put-up SweetBasil, a take-out restaurant with an Italian twist.
When asked why he still hasn’t retired he said, “I’ve always loved food, I’ve always had a restaurant. I’m 81 years old, full of energy and I hate to waste my talent and my knowledge sitting at home and watching TV.”
His new creation, which opened about a month ago, offers pizza, pasta and salad to go. He even has eight gourmet pizzas you can choose from.
As with his previous ventures, Chinonis insists on quality and freshness. He makes his sauce, dough and pizza from scratch every single day.
Amazingly, when he came to the US more than 60 years ago, he didn’t have money in his pocket. His possession consisted of his shirt and an old pair of shoes.
This successful businessman also has been lucky to have a very supportive family. His son, Denny Chinonis said, “It was hard when he retired… And at his age I want to spend as much time as I can with him. It’s such a cool, awesome opportunity. I learned from the best.”
The father and son tandem hopes to make another winner out of Sweet Basil and see it grow like Yaya’s.