From Ashes to Love: How Maria's Italian Kitchen Rose Stronger After the 1994 Northridge Earthquake

From Ashes to Love: How Maria's Italian Kitchen Rose Stronger

After the 1994 Northridge Earthquake

Valentines Day in Northridge is even more special because it is the Anniversary of our opening, and the Birthday of our Founder Maria Alfano.

The echoes of the 1994 Northridge earthquake reverberated across the San Fernando Valley, leaving behind a trail of destruction that reshaped communities. Among those profoundly affected was the tiny Maria's Italian Kitchen, in Woodland Hills on Ventura Blvd which burnt to the ground that morning.  However, from the ashes of devastation emerged a story of resilience, community spirit, and unwavering love. We look back to that tumultuous time and although devastating we remember the remarkable tale of how Maria's Italian Kitchen not only rebuilt but flourished, opening its doors in and its hearts on a day synonymous with love: Valentine's Day.


During the loss of Marias Woodland Hills, we were building out the Northridge Marias. The challenges we faced were immense, but the safety and wellbeing of our Marias team was the first and most important problem to address.

It was critical to let them know they would be taken care of.

We made the decision to relocate employees from Woodland Hills to assist in the opening of the newest restaurant in Northridge, illustrating our determination to rebuild stronger than ever before.

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Building a New Family Member:

Each year our loyal customers share their heartwarming stories of how Maria's Italian Kitchen's Created the sense of camaraderie and unity forging a bond among our staff and the community. We are grateful for our loyal customers for 30 years!

Opening Hearts on Valentine's Day was a night filled with anxiety, anticipation and prayer.  Would we be able to open on time? Will Customers show up?   

With Maria in the Kitchen all smiles, Greg J our GM greeting guests at the front door, we opened, and the Celebration of Food and Love began.  


We celebrate Valentine's Day; we honor Maria's Italian Kitchen's unwavering commitment to rebuilding not only bricks and mortar but also hearts and bonds within the community. From ashes to love, their story serves as a testament to the enduring power of the human heart.


Greg J will still be greeting you at the Door and Maria's memory and food will warm your hearts!