Exterior shot taken shortly before closing
The original Valentino's sign was a spectacular on-off cycling neon sign
Valentino's operated on Independence Blvd for almost 33 years from 1969 until 2002. Striking a balance between Italian and Greek food, Valentino's proved to be one of the more successful of a long line of Charlotte-based Greek-run Italian eateries.
Greek native Bill Georges came to Charlotte from New York in 1969, and, with
his restaurateur friend Peter Parrous of Fayetteville, bought the old Stork
Restaurant attached to the Coliseum Inn on East Independence (next door to the old Charlotte Coliseum). Georges and Parrous originally called the restaurant Deno`s, but the owner of Dino's Restaurant on Monroe Rd took them to court and they were forced to choose a different name. ``If you have an Italian name for your restaurant and one-third of your dishes are Italian, you`ll do all right in Charlotte,`` Parrous had told Georges. So the partners scrolled through their list of Italian names and selected Valentino`s, which they thought had exactly the right ring. Georges would buy out Parrous' stake in 1972 and would run the restaurant until its last days in 2002. For a very short while, they opened a second location of Valentino's off of Woodlawn Rd in the late-90's, but this location proved short-lived.