Frank “Tiger” DeMace — co-founder of Mario’s Place, the quintessential Westport steakhouse — died yesterday. He fought a difficult battle with brain cancer.
A posting on the Facebook group “Mario’s Place Was/Is The Best Place to Work and Eat!!!” announced his death. He is survived by his children Dominick and Lori. No further details were available.
While nearly every other Westport restaurant has come and gone — many times over — Mario’s was a model of consistency. The menu seldom changed; the drinks and decor were always the same — and that comfortable atmosphere made it a Westport landmark. For over 40 years Mario’s has been the go-to place for Westport commuters, families, and folks celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and promotions (or commiserating over job losses and divorces).
Frank’s business partner Mario Sacco died just over 3 years ago, in early July 2009.