The Hungarian-born Fonos came to Stanford Shopping Center after many successful years in the restaurant business. They founded the Magic Pan creperie chain in 1965 and turned America on to crepes. The first Magic Pan was located at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, and then expanded nationwide. The Fonos sold the Magic Pan restaurants to Quaker Oats in the mid-1980s.
When they opened Bravo Fono in 1980 there were very few places in Palo Alto to have an espresso or a European-style meal, says Ms. Fono. "We opened Bravo Fono out of our vision to share the food we grew up with and experienced in our travels."
At one time the Fonos had their own mini-restaurant empire at the Stanford Shopping Center. In addition to Bravo Fono, they owned Babbo's, Cafe Andrea and Madame Paulette's.
Babbo's is still going strong, across from Sigona's Market. It is a popular spot for lunch and dinner, both indoors and at outdoor umbrella tables. Ms. Fono says Babbo's will continue to serve some of the Bravo Fono favorite dishes.