February 22, 1933 - January 19, 2018
Eugene Candido Boero, known to his friends as ‘Gino’ or ‘Speedy’, passed away quietly on January 19th at his home in Costa Mesa, at the age of 84. His passing leaves his family and many close friends with personal reflections of life well-lived, of selfless encouragement, and of an always ready smile. An early pioneer of the 1960s Newport Beach hospitality industry, many guests remember Gino as being the ultimate restaurateur, even willing to pick up the tab for a tow-truck when a diner’s car was stuck.
Eugene C. Boero was born on February 22, 1933, in Los Angeles, California, son of Eugene Boero Sr. and Sylvia Di Stefano.
The family soon moved to the small town of Newport Beach, California, where the senior Boero was founding Gene’s Place, one of the first restaurants in Corona del Mar. During this time, young Gino attended St. Catherine’s Military Academy and Newport Harbor High School. At Newport Harbor, Gino was a highly-ranked defensive tackle during the 1950 and 1951 seasons. After graduation, he attended Orange Coast College.
Apprenticing in many of the early Newport Beach restaurants, Gino soon was recruited by Far West Services, the founders of many iconic California restaurants such as Coco’s, Rubens, and Snack Shop. With Far West, Gino Boero progressed to become General Manager for the group in 1974. After W.R Grace’s Restaurant Division acquired Far West Services, Gino Boero continued with Grace serving as International Vice President for their Japanese restaurant operations.
A growing family conflicted with the demands of an international position and led Gino to leave W.R. Grace to develop his own restaurant concept. Believing in community-centered restaurants, Gino’s on the Hill was born in Costa Mesa. For much of the 1980s and 1990s, it was a well-loved, casual-dining and entertainment destination for harbor-area residents.
Always proud of his Italian heritage, Mr. Boero was one of the founding directors of the Orange Coast chapter of UNICO, the Italian-American service organization. He was a continuous supporter of youth sports programs, notably with the Newport Harbor Aquatics Booster organization.
Eugene Boero was preceded in death by his wife Nikki. He is survived by his daughters Julie Boero and Beth Salvatore, his son Eugene Salvatore, a brother Francis, and his grandchildren, Gunner, Shane, Nicholas, and Oliver.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Newport Harbor High School Boys Aquatics Boosters.
The family will hold a private remembrance to be followed by a celebration-of-life observance in February.