(Globe staff photo by John Bohn)
For 41 years on Main Street, the Italian immigrant served lunchtime workers and families seeking affordable dinners, like the elbow macaroni slathered with tomato and meat sauce for $4.95 that he sold as "American chop suey."
Salvatore Pinzone -- Sal to his customers -- catered to masses, except for Thanksgiving, when he cooked for his family.
Early yesterday, that legacy was reduced to blackened beams and broken glass, when a fire damaged much of Sal's Family Restaurant and a convenience store next door, at Newton Street, Globe correspondent April Yee reports in the online edition of the City & Region section.
Waltham Fire Chief Richard Cardillo said the cause of the fire, which was reported about 5 a.m. and claimed parts of the roof, was under investigation.
"What should my next step be at 79 1/2 ?" said Pinzone, who lives near the restaurant and in a rare occasion missed his 10 a.m. Mass. "So many people have been inconvenienced."
Several city residents, including Mayor Jeannette McCarthy, said they hope Sal's reopens.
"It's inbred," said McCarthy, who came with her family for the chop suey or fish and chips at least once a week. "This was a family restaurant."
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