A FOUR GENERATION FAMILY TRADITION
To understand what has made and continues to make Giusti’s a California Delta and Northern California favorite is to know its history - one built on a family tradition of hard work, dedication, great service, a love for family and friends, awesome food and drink, and good times. Here is an overview of the Giusti family history.
Around 1900, brothers Egisto, Paolo, Morro and Pietro immigrated from Italy to the Walnut Grove area of the California Delta. At that time, they occupied what today is known as The Ryde Hotel. In 1912, Egisto then settled at the location which is now the current site of Giusti’s, historically known as the Miller's Ferry Saloon. It was also a general store and toll station for the ferry. Egisto and his wife, Irene, always served food to local workers, friends and other guests, and when it began to be known as a place for great food and spirits they started charging guests around 1946-47.
The picture above (top right) shows family members and friends standing in front of The Miller's Ferry Saloon (what is now Giusti's) - the current building that stands today.
Over the years, a number of traditions became part of life at Giusti’s. One of those traditions was known as “Little Easter.” It was a party that Egisto and his wife Irene would throw on the Monday after Easter. It was an all day affair celebrated with family and close friends, where the homemade Italian food became legendary and the wine flowed generously. The bottom photo was taken in 1947 and it includes Egisto and Irene (highlighted in the white circle) and their daughter, Dolores, with her husband, Moe (highlighted in the red circle).
Dolores Giusti, daughter of Egisto and Irene, and Manuel “Moe” Morais were married in 1949, and together they continued the Giusti family restaurant tradition. As the years passed, more people outside of the Delta began to discover Giusti’s and the walls of the bar area suddenly became home for a growing collection of autographed photos from many of the stars who had visited Giusti’s.
Dolores and Moe took on the restaurant tradition until their son, Mark, put his foot in the door after graduating from college in 1972.
The photo on the top left was taken of Moe in 1985. The other solo photo of him at the bottom is of him returning from time spent Salmon fishing on the Mokelume River. The photo on the left shows Dolores, along with close friends, Erle Stanley Gardner and Connie King, shopping in Locke. The photo of Moe on the right was taken on Giusti's dock during the summer of 1960 and also includes Erle, along with 12-yr-old son, Mark.
Giusti’s third generation owners, Mark and Linda Morais, are the current owners of Giusti's. Mark continued the family owned and operated tradition in his early twenties. He later married his childhood crush, Linda Sutherland, in 1984 and they continued the tradition together. Linda worked in the business until they had their children, Katie and Matt, and Mark has yet to retire.
Mark and Linda's children, Scott, Katie and Matt are all currently a part of the family business. Scott joined as a part time evening bartender when he returned home after living in San Diego for 12 years.
Katie has been a part of the restaurant since a very early age when she helped with prep work in the kitchen and bussed tables. She later became a hostess and server and currently works part time.
Matt joined Giusti's when returning home after college in San Luis Obispo. He picked up on serving cocktails and hosting, which led to being the weekday bartender.
EGISTO + IRENE GIUSTI
MANUEL "MOE" + DOLORES (GIUSTI) MORAIS
MARK + LINDA MORAIS
- Current Owners -
SCOTT MORAIS, MATT MORAIS +
THE ORIGINAL RYDE HOTEL
EGISTO + IRENE
MOE + DOLORES