The year 1965 saw the opening of the San Diego culinary favorite, Mister A’s. The name was derived from prominent California entrepreneur and restaurant founder, John Alessio. Mister A’s perched comfortably atop the newly constructed Fifth Avenue Financial Center, another one of Alessio’s creations.
It opened its doors on May 17th despite the open criticism of the location, with major restaurateurs citywide warning that the building was too far away from the hotspot of downtown to ever be a success. Ramiro “Tommy” Tomicich from Old Trieste, the Ghios of Anthony’s Fish Grotto, and Ray Lubach of Lubach’s) all turned down the opportunity to manage the new restaurant themselves. Alessio remained undeterred, bringing Walter Broderick and Sarah Chase on to decorate and NYC maître d’, Giuseppe Valani.
Despite Alessio’s meticulous planning, the success of Mister A’s grand opening was threatened by the little details. Just one hour before the restaurant was set to debut to a 250-person bash for Augie Ferlando and the American Tunaboat Association, the carpet was still being laid. On the heels of the last-minute touches, the party was a hit, and set off a long tradition with the local tuna industry. Less than a month later, it would be christened by the Governor of California, Edmund G. Brown.