Finbars Italian Kitchen to host fundraiser for Mary Wilson Library

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Joseph Barbara and Teresa Devoti in front of Finbars Italian Kitchen. The Seal Beach restaurant will hold a fundraiser for the Mary Wilson Library on Sept. 15. Courtesy photo

Finbars is currently serving customers outdoors in a lovely shaded “parklet,” and continues to support the community and the Mary Wilson Library in many ways. On Sept. 15, anyone who brings in a flyer will have 20% of their purchases (with a couple of exceptions) go to support the Mary Wilson Library.

Once upon a time, there was an Italian teenage boy, Joseph Barbara, growing up in Finbar’s Parish in Brooklyn. His family owned a catering business, and he worked at the family business by scrubbing pots in the kitchen and watching the other family members cooking and preparing food for their customers.  He decided he wanted to go into the restaurant business himself and began collecting recipes and ideas for the delicious Italian-American meals he would serve to his own customers in his own restaurant someday.    

In  later years, Joseph saw his dreams come true when he discovered Seal Beach, and in 1996 opened the first Finbars Restaurant at 5th and Marina.  Word about his delicious menu soon got around the community, and his new little Finbars was a roaring success. (He says “Finbars is a not so traditional Italian name for a not so traditional Italian restaurant.”)

Having reconnected with his high school friend, Theresa Devoti, they fell in love, and have subsequently enjoyed being a successful team through two location moves.  Finbar’s is now in the 12th & PCH Center with 33 employees, and is an extremely popular destination for locals and visitors.    

Joseph and Theresa are generous supporters of the Mary Wilson Library and have donated Finbar’s certificates for summer reading programs and other library events. Theresa says they are happy to help with whatever the library needs, and she enjoys participating in craft classes. (Joseph commented that Theresa brings home some of the funniest-looking crafts, but she has a lot of fun doing it!)

They want to thank the community for all the love and support they have received for the past 24 years (their clientele is about 90% locals).  And thank you, Joseph and Theresa, for all your support of the Mary Wilson Library!