Man Runs Restaurant In His Father's Footsteps

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After 45 years, a Star Valley restaurant that has always been owned and operated by one family is still going strong.

Diamond Point Shadows Restaurant, located on Highway 260 about two miles from downtown Star Valley, has been open for more than 40 years, and not much has changed in its 45-year existence.

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Michael Perna stands behind the bar at his restaurant, Diamond Point Shadows.

Anthony Perna, the original owner who died last year, built the restaurant in the winter of 1962.

Michael Perna, one of Anthony's sons, took over the restaurant from his father about 20 years ago.

He said most of his customers are local, but he also sees a few customers from Payson as well as a few customers that are traveling through on Highway 260.

Perna and his family moved to the Rim Country from the Valley in 1959 after doctors told the family that one of their sons, who had asthma, would benefit from the high altitude.

He said the restaurant, which is one of the oldest in the Rim County, has the same kind of customers it has had since it opened in the 1960s.

"We have not changed a lot," Perna said. "We serve steaks and seafood, and people say they are real good."

Perna said he learned the ins and outs of the restaurant business from his father, who before moving to the Rim Country owned and operated the Totem Pole Bar in the Valley.

"I just live in his legacy," he said. "He realized it. He built it."

When the Pernas first moved to the Rim Country, Anthony managed and operated the bar and restaurant at Pete's Place in Star Valley for two years before leasing the old Kohl's Ranch for another two years.

In 1962, Diamond Point Shadows opened, and most of the construction was done by Anthony.

Perna said the restaurant has always done well.

As proof of his restaurant's popularity, Perna pointed to the numerous Payson Roundup "Best of Payson" awards that are hanging on a wall by the front entrance.

He said he uses the satisfaction of his customers to gauge how his restaurant is doing.

"I believe I have a good following of the people who enjoy the place," he said. "They can get a good meal at a fair price."

He said the bar serves the dining room, especially during its busiest times.

Perna said weekends are extremely busy, especially on Saturday nights. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the slower nights.

The Diamond Points Shadow Restaurant is open from 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 8:30 p.m. Sunday. The restaurant is closed on Mondays.

-- To reach Michael Maresh call 474-5251 ext. 112 or e-mail mmaresh@payson.com.

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