Arlington, VA

(Updated at 2 p.m.) Pasta lovers can take a sigh of relief, because the new owner of Ruffino’s Spaghetti House doesn’t want to change a thing.

Mina Tawdaros recently bought the long-time Arlington institution at 4763 Lee Highway. Ruffino’s first opened in 1975, and has satisfied Italian food cravings with a menu that includes the standards, from pizza to linguini to chicken marsala.

“The pasta is amazing, but you should really try the chicken parmesan and the pizza,” said Tawdaros, who is fulfilling his American dream with the purchase.

“Owning this place has been my dream since I came to America in 2013,” said Tawdaros, a 30-year-old lawyer from Egypt who now lives in Ashburn. “I worked for very little money for a restaurant for five years, and then later I was a shuttle driver, but that dream never left me.”

“Yesss my amazing husband Mina’s dream finally came true!” his wife Mary, a substitute teacher, posted on Facebook in October when the sale was completed. The couple wed in a Coptic Christian ceremony earlier this year.

Tawdaros said his mantra is this famous Napoleon Hill quote: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.”

He won’t be changing the menu and will keep the small staff from the previous owner, Robin Gamza, who bought the business in 1981.

Tawdaros declined to discuss terms of the sale. Ruffino’s was listed for sale on a business listing site this summer, though the page has since been taken down.

Ruffino’s is open for dining, takeout and curbside pickup every Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Friday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Photo (2) via Ruffino’s/Facebook

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