It’s a party, Boccali’s is turning 30

051916open soon dewayne

Photo submitted

A 30-years-younger Dewayne Boccali hangs an open soon sign.

Bill Warner, Ojai Valley News reporter

The mid-1980s were tough years for farmers in Upper Ojai — farm prices were down and the interest rates on loans ran high. So it was something of a gamble when grower Dewayne Boccali decided to start a family restaurant on the Ojai-Santa Paula Road.

“We were having hard times,” Boccali said Wednesday. “I needed an extra job, but I didn't want something where I had to be punching a time clock for someone else. I knew had had to be my own boss.”

It was an insight that paid off. Since opening its doors May 16, 1986, Boccali's Pizza and Pasta has provided the Ojai Valley with a landmark restaurant whose reputation for fine food and a down-home atmosphere has reached far beyond the region.

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