michael mullady

The birth of businesses can be a mystery for some students.

While some have ambitions to open a business, they feel that they don’t have enough experience to establish a strong foundation.

Nevertheless, various companies continue to spawn from Cal Poly alumni.

Left Coast T-shirt Company, The Morro Bay Surf Company (MBSC) and F. McLintocks are some local businesses to name a few.

Jamba Juice, Clifbar, Cafe Roma and The First Bank of San Luis Obispo are other businesses that have made their starts in San Luis Obispo.

Many of these companies are familiar to students and residents living in the county, but the question many students ask is “How did they did it?”

“I threw my all into it,” said CEO and owner of F. McLintocks Family of Fine Restaurants Tunny Ortali. “We worked 18 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Ortali said opening F. McLintocks took a lot of work, time and support from family and friends.

Ortali was 25 years old when he and co-founder Bruce Breault collaborated to open the steakhouse that sits on Mattie Hill in Shell Beach.

“We did all the work ourselves,” Ortali said. “Our wives worked at first. I sat in the front and Bruce was in the kitchen.”

Ortali graduated in 1970 from Cal Poly’s College of Business in international relations. He then developed his own curriculum at the university to earn a business teaching credential.

Ortali taught for a year at Righetti High School in Santa Maria before he decided to apply for an international sales position and was offered interviews for jobs in Denver and for Kodak in New York.

During this time, Breault offered him a step into the restaurant industry.

“I made the right choice,” Ortali said. “I was very fortunate to be where I was, and when I was to make the right decision and go through with it.”

Ortali said negotiations for the location and property took many days and nights with Mattie Smyer, owner of the property, but the two entrepreneurs were able to cut a good deal.

Breault and Ortali worked on the decorations and the establishment of the restaurant.

But opening it also meant following city codes.

“We were two weeks from opening up when the city came and said, ‘You need to redo the electrical,’” Ortali said.

Ortali said it was one friend in particular who made a difference – Frank Gallagher, an electrician.

“We asked him, ‘How much do you think it’s going to cost?’ And he said $10,000 – $10,000 that we don’t have.” Gallagher gave Breault and Ortali time to get the money and allowed the restaurant to open on schedule.

“He was the man that made it happen just by doing that one thing,” Ortali said.

On Oct. 1, 1973, the restaurant opened and “was successful right off the bat.”

“We served 89 dinners that night and business hasn’t slowed down since,” Ortali said.

F. McLintocks Steakhouse, visible off U.S. Highway 101 in Shell Beach, attracts and entertains customers with its authentic western decorations including animal features, such as a buffalo, a caribou and a bear. The restaurant is decorated with rustic wooden walls and boutique tavern features, from its decors to its restaurant menu.

There are now five locations: F. McLintocks Dining House in Shell Beach, F. McLintocks Saloon in San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande and Paso Robles, and Steamers of Pismo.

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