Sebastian Mandina came from Palermo, Italy in 1898, to open the building at 3800 Canal Street as a grocery store. It was a favorite of the Italian immigrants who'd come from New York to prosper off of the farm lands of Southern Louisiana. Sebastian was an entreprenuer who saw the need for a store in the largely residential Mid-City area. His two young sons, Anthony and Frank, grew up in the family business throughout the early 1900's. The boys would see Mandina's evolve from a grocery store to a pool-hall that sold sandwiches. It was Anthony and Frank who would turn the pool-hall into today's Mandina's Restaurant in 1932. The family continued to live upstairs. Frank lived on one side; Anthony and his wife, a tough red-head named Hilda, lived on the other. Anthony bartended while Hilda managed the dining room. "Hilda would come out and talk to all the people, be nice with everybody. It just evolved into a neighborhood restaurant," describes Cindy Mandina, the restaurant's fourth generation proprieter.