Nashville road renamed for famed restaurant owner - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Nashville road renamed for famed restaurant owner

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

He may be gone, but Nashville's first celebrity restaurant owner will live on forever.

On Friday, Mayor Karl Dean unveiled Mario Ferrari Way on a stretch of Lyle Avenue from West End across Broadway and to Division.

Mario Ferrari died last year from cancer.

He brought fine dining to Nashville with his namesake restaurant.

Mario Ferrari was flamboyant, known for loving life and having a good time.

"He was such a character," said John Seigenthaler, a friend of Ferrari. "One of the things was he was multilingual. He could speak English, he could speak Italian, some Spanish, maybe a little Portuguese and a lot of profanity."

Those gathered also remembered his love for Nashville.

"I can remember being there many times. It's the place where celebrities went," said Seigenthaler. "I remember one Thanksgiving, driving up to the original Mario's, and there in the parking lot he had set up two tables and was serving eight homeless people Thanksgiving dinner. He was a man who had a heart for this city."

"He means everything to Nashville and Nashville meant everything to him," said Eric Ferrari, grandson of Mario Ferrari.

Even though he was dying of cancer, Mario Ferrari went out in style. He threw one last party to say goodbye to all the friends he had made over the years.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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