One sunny afternoon in State College, PA., Andy Zangrilli, the founder of the Gullifty's concept, heard somebody say "nifty gullifty". That evening, he called Gene Johnson, his cohort, in their tireless efforts to open a restaurant on Philadelphia's Main Line, and asked him what he thought of the name Gullifty's. "Gillespie's, why would we want to call it that," Gene asked. "No, no...Gullifty's," responded Andy, "and we want to call it Gullifty's because no one will know how to spell it, how to pronounce it, or what it means." They both agreed that those were essential ingredients in giving a name to just about anything. And with that, Gullifty's was born!
Over 40 years later, Gullifty's is a Main Line Tradition. How have we maintained this lofty status for such a long period of time? Simple. Gullifty's means so much to so many people. To women and men alike, it's a noon time haven from the rigors of hitting the shops or working at the office. To families, it is the children's favorite spot. To singles, it is a place to eat, drink, and meet. To all, it is good food, good value, good service, and good times.
More About Our Name...
Gullifty's? What is that? Irish? Italian?
Nope, it's as American as Mr. Rodger's Neighborhood. Don't you remember "X the Owl" from the land of make-believe? In his neighborhood, everything was "Nifty-Gullifty" as he would say. And with a great neighborhood of our own to serve, we thought that was pretty "Nifty-Gullifty" ourselves.
Read what Mister Rodgers thought of the idea in this two page letter.
More About Our Founder...
For forty years, Gene Johnson has been the owner of Gullifty's. His dreams of having his own restaurant began when he was 18, working during the summers at Mack & Manco Pizza in Ocean City. The combination of a fast-paced fun atmosphere and an element of showmanship, with people watching the pizza spinners from the boardwalk, convinced Gene that one day he would open a restaurant of his own.
While studying for an MBA at Penn State, Gene developed a relationship with Andy Zangrilli - a well know restaurateur in the State College area. Together they opened a number of restaurants before amicably parting ways, including the original Gullifty's in Rosemont, which Gene continues to operate.
Today, Gene takes pride in continuing to expand and offer a diverse menu at an affordable price in a fun, service-focused environment.