Cimmiyotti's was founded in 1959 by Paul and Ann Cimmiyotti. Paul Cimmiyotti was a champion steer roper and a Pendleton Round-Up Director. He and Ann worked hard and made the place great. Locals say that Paul was always at the door to greet guests and that he lived for "The Place". His legendary hospitality and dedication to his guests, staff, business, and family is remembered fondly today.
In 1994, Paul sold the restaurant. Cimmiyotti's then passed through many hands and eventually "The Place" fell into disrepair. Cimmiyotti's closed as a restaurant in 2005.
Jennifer Keeton, a waitress from Mariposa, California, stumbled upon Cimmiyotti's in February 2009. She is still not certain if the restaurant found her or she found the restaurant! She fell in love with the place, seeing its beauty under all the years of neglect. She spent five months commuting between Mariposa and Pendleton during which everything was scrubbed and restored: the kitchen got a new hood, new walls were put in the walk-in, new fridges throughout, new carpet was laid, all booths were recovered, original wallpaper was found in the basement and the walls were painstakingly repaired. Jennifer always dreamt of having a restaurant named in honor of her father, Virgil. In 2009, after lots of hard work and with God's grace, she opened the doors to the new Virgil's at Cimmiyotti's, named in memory of both Virgil Keeton and Paul Cimmiyotti. Jennifer is proud to be a part of Pendleton history and tradition, maintaining much of the original menu and décor, while adding her own touches to make "The Place" even more special. Virgil's at Cimmiyotti's is honored to carry on the legacy today and for many years to come.