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Merchant Profile: Mario’s Restaurant

Marios Storefront

Feb. 12, 2016 Sunnyside Shines

Mario’s Restaurant celebrates 30 years in business this month, on February 21st.

Owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Carlos and Lynn Chauca, the restaurant serves northern Italian dishes in a classic atmosphere with dark wood paneling and low lighting.

Tucked away at the corner of 43rd Street and 47th Avenue, Mario’s is named after Lynn’s father, who passed away a few years prior to the restaurant opening.

The Chaucas pride themselves on the personal service that Lynn provides in the dining room, and the health-conscious, yet hearty fare that Carlos creates in the kitchen.

“People see that we put a lot of effort to make them feel welcome at Mario’s, and that we put our hearts into our food,” Carlos told us.  While they have many customers who have been coming back since the 1980s, the Chaucas are pleased to see newer Sunnysiders coming into the restaurant as well.  Lynn encourages new and old neighborhood residents alike to come in to try the food, which is all made to order and can be easily customized upon request.

Freshness is key at Mario’s, and Lynn’s mantra is “if it’s not fresh, we won’t serve it.” Popular dishes include the appetizer mozzarella in carrozza –

egg-battered bread and mozzarella, pan-seared with butter, wine and capers and their filet of sole, which is stuffed with spinach and served in a light, herbed cream sauce and topped with a touch of truffle oil.

Beer and wine is served alongside the classic Italian dishes, and the Chaucas are starting to showcase more craft beers on a rotating basis.  If you haven’t tried Carlos’ sangria, you’re in for a treat – customers come in asking for it, even during cold winter nights.

Carlos and Lynn started the restaurant with humble beginnings, and have since raised their family in the business – their two daughters have worked in the restaurant, and now their grandchildren feel right at home there as well.

Their daughter Angela has gone on to create her own custom baking company in Sunnyside, Making that Cake, and was featured on the Food Network.  Running a family business certainly has its challenges, but the Chaucas say it’s all worth it.  Carlos told us, “We love the business, we love our customers and we want people to walk away happy.”

In celebration of their 30 year anniversary, Mario’s is offering a prix fixe dinner special on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, consisting of a three-course dinner for $21.95.  This could be the perfect reason to stop in and check out one of Sunnyside’s local classics.

This article was written by Sunnyside Shines

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Bulimic Panda

My wife loves the food but my girlfriend hates it. They are very discrete though. I pray for them. I love all of you. Amen.

fool me once

Food is great but $34 for a small pitcher of sangria is flat out obnoxious. Went once, got stung with the outrageous bill and never went back. They need to reconfigure their pricing and perhaps the restaurant would be busier.
Maybe this new pricing structure on wednesdays and thursdays is their attempt to right previous wrongs.

Bulimic Panda

When I was a child my father Leroy would take me to Mario’s for pasta. We ate dessert too. It was good. I once left my watch inside the toilet and the owner had it cleaned for me and returned it. The pasta is good but I prefer eating at Subway now.

I love all of you and pray for all of me. G-d bless my little Sunnyside. Amen.


Congratulations!!! I can’t believe it’s been 30 years. I remember when you first open and we brought our own alcohol because you didn’t have a license yet. Many wonderful memories for me my family and friends. Your food is always delicious and family always gracious.

Save Sunnyside

@Mac I’ve heard from reliable sources that you STILL sneak your own alcohol in there & other restaurants as well.


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