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What recession? Forbes finds a Houston restaurant that made $20 million last year

What recession? Forbes finds a Houston restaurant that made $20 million last year

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Photo by James Dean
News_Tony's_Tony Vallone_Donna Vallone
Tony and Donna Vallone Photo by Barbara Kuntz
News_Tony's_restaurant_dining room
News_Tony's_Tony Vallone_Donna Vallone

Who is the richest restaurateur in town? According to Forbes, it's Tony Vallone. Apparently when you combine, ahem, discriminating prices with a packed restaurant of loyals who can afford it, the result is easy money. Who knew?

For its list of the highest-grossing restaurants in the United States, Forbes and food industry marketing research company CHD Experts looked at earnings from June 2010 to June 2011, excluding restaurants that aren't stand-alone (aka no casinos) and ones that turn into nightclubs at night.

According to them, Tony's comes in fourth in the entire country, earning a staggering $20 million during that 12-month period. That figure doesn't even include alcohol sales, which is a significant factor at Tony's — as Forbes points out, a bottle of 1795 Madiera there is priced at $13,000. 

The only earners ahead of Tony's were Bob Chinn's Crab House in Illinois, which serves 2,500 customers a day to the tune of $24 million, as well as Grill on Main in Martha's Vineyard and Sparks Steak House in New York. Tony's was the only Texas restaurant on the list of 10.

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