A lot has happened in the last 50 years. The Seattle Seahawks were established in 1974 and would enter the gridiron two years later. Across the state in Spokane, Expo ’74 kicked off, bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors.

And in Renton, Vince’s Italian Restaurant opened its doors for the first time, serving classic Italian dishes such as chicken alla Parmigiana, hand-tossed pizzas and, of course, spaghetti and meatballs.

Vince and Ada Mottola opened their first restaurant in the Rainier Valley, serving dishes that reminded them of their hometown of Naples, Italy. They went on to open restaurants in Renton, Burien and Federal Way. Still family-owned and operated, the business can also claim Pizzaria Pulcinella in South Seattle and Via Marina in Des Moines.

Vince and Ada’s son, also named Vince, started working for the family business as a busboy when he was 13. At 23, in 1983, he and business partner Fred Martichuski took over for the Mottolas. Matichuski recently retired, but Vince is still at the helm.

“The community support for Vince’s in Renton is why we’re still going strong. We’ve been fortunate to have families who’ve been coming to Vince’s for generations,” said Mottola in a press release. “We want to have some fun with the anniversary and to thank our dedicated staff and the amazing community for its loyal support over the years.”

Dave Dorough started working part-time at Vince’s Italian Restaurant in eighth grade. He still works there.

“I have stayed here all these years because I really believe in what we do. To see how happy people are after eating at our restaurants is a special type of joy that I really value, and few types of work give that kind of satisfaction,” he said.

Vince’s celebrated this milestone with 1974 prices for spaghetti, $2, spaghetti and meatballs, $2.35 and Piccola pizza for $1.90.

Mottola is proud of his family’s legacy and understands how unusual it is for a restaurant to remain in operation and with the same family for 50 years. In fact, he’s looking forward to celebrating the company’s 70th anniversary. His parents opened that first restaurant in the Ranier Valley in 1957, back when Elvis was king, Dwight Eisenhauer was president and Ed Sullivan ruled television.