Sir Bruno Serato’s treasured dining establishment rises out of ashes
Just over a year after a devastating fire reduced his beloved restaurant to rubble, Sir Bruno Serato saw its reincarnation rise from the ashes like a Phoenix when he opened the doors of the new Anaheim White House on Tuesday, May 8. Every square inch of the restaurant, its banquet hall known as the West Wing and surrounding grounds have been painstakingly renovated so that they closely resemble the 1909 Colonial-style mansion and property that he converted into a restaurant more than three decades ago. The fire was particularly devastating because Serato used its kitchen to prepare 4,000 dinners each night for local needy children. He was, however, able to continue cooking for the kids thanks to the generosity of Christ Cathedral that allowed use of its kitchen. This discontinued when the restaurant opened.
While the main floor of the Italian steakhouse will be reserved for proper dining, the upstairs will become a lounge called BBar and will specialize in small bites from around the globe. The main dining area will consist of eleven rooms, eight of which may be close off for private affairs. Upstairs, in addition to BBar, 3 additional rooms will be available for private events or to accommodate overflow from the lounge. Each of the rooms of the 5,600-square-foot, 180-seat restaurant is named after one of our nation’s Founding Fathers including Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and John Adams.
Among the design elements on the main level are resina flooring, French provincial dining tables and chairs and a distinctive glass, stone and gem-adorned fireplace. Also on the first floor are several massive hand-painted frescos featuring replications of master artists including Delphic Dibyl in the John Adams room, Giuseppe Angeli in the George Washington room and Francois Girardon in the Alexander Hamilton room.
Upstairs, the sleek BBar boasts a dynamic cobalt blue and crisp white color palette and, in keeping with the dining room’s theme, a number of French provincial dining tables and chair as well as a tony bar with plush stool seating.
The West Wing now houses a kitchen prep area to increase efficiency and the patio has been expanded and landscaped with a massive olive tree in the center as well as Juniper and Italian Cypress plants lining the perimeter. Insurance proceeds and generous contributions from the public were used in the $2.5 million rebuild.
Serato arrived in the US from his native Italy speaking no English with only $200 in his pocket. Through hard work and determination, he worked his way up from busboy to owner of the critically acclaimed Anaheim White House restaurant, whose patrons include US Presidents, sports stars and celebrities.
But it is his work with children that has earned him international acclaim. Serato launched his nonprofit, Caterina’s Club, in 2005. In addition to serving 4,000 children each day, his influence has extended far beyond Southern California to include Chicago, New York, Texas, Mexico and Italy.
He augmented his nonprofit’s mission by moving needy families into permanent housing. While many of them are working and able to pay the monthly rent for their own apartments, they cannot afford the first, last and security deposit required at the onset. He has already helped hundreds of families escape motel living by finding them apartments of their own and their lives have improved considerably.
His program also includes the Hospitality Program, which seeks to divert high school students from gangs and other bad influences by teaching them about his food, hospitality and service industries. The students receive hands-on experience and even paid internships in these areas so that they can explore careers in the field following graduation.
For his humanitarian work, Serato has earned international publicity including profiles in People Magazine, “CBS Evening News” and newspapers and magazines the world over. Among his many honors is being named a CNN Hero, being knighted by the Italian government, receiving a papal blessing from Pope Francis and getting a humanitarian award on the steps of the US Capitol—all of which he accepts to generate public awareness of the needs of our most vulnerable population—our children.
Call 714-772-1381 or visit AnaheimWhiteHouse.com for reservations or more information.