Family History

330 Center Street
South Haven, MI 49090

(269) 637-3663


As far as we can tell, AJ's entrepreneurial spirit and knack for outstanding service started way back around 1912.  Pictured to the right, on the left, is AJ's grandmother, Concetta Distefano.  She's actually pregnant with AJ's father, John.

The early Distefano's owned a Cigar, Tobacco, and grocery store on the south side of Chicago.  John (AJ's father) and his brothers eventually moved to Bangor, Michigan in the 1940's where they opened what became a landmark service station.  The full service gas station and auto repair garage stayed in the family for years.  In fact, later on, AJ and his late brother Angelo took over the station until it burned down almost 15 years ago.

AJ22After the service station's demise, rather than rebuild, AJ decided to follow his calling; a calling he had all of his life.  He decided to enter into the restaurant business.  He purchased The Chicken Chalet in Bangor, and knew that he had waited too long to be a restaurateur.  But, there was one final step.  He wanted desperately to serve the old family recipes; including the 100 year old recipe for Italian Sausage.  When the sausage recipe was handed down, AJ even received a measuring spoon that has been used for more than 50 years!

AJ and Donna opened Maria's Taste of Italy almost 4 years ago.  Since the first day, patrons have visited and revisited from all over the country. In fact, this Website was created so that the national travelers could have a reference to give their friends.

All of the mouth watering Italian food you will eat at Maria's, you will come to love and come back for more...

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