Western All’Italiana Rides Again Spaghetti Western, Morongo Valley

By Lisa Lynn Morgan

Over the years, the “Willie Boy’s” building in Morongo Valley has had its share of ups and downs. Many have tried their hand at making it a haven for community and tourism, without any long-term success. There are several theories as to why this venue has yet to thrive, but none of them are for lack of charm. The interior is a wonderful step back in time, and popular opinion states that it’s bursting with potential. In an area where one long stretch of highway connects multiple communities with many locals driving by daily, what has and will transpire has been a hot topic with many questions about the beautiful building and its forlorn, tailless pony.

Recently, the “For Sale” sign came down and a new sign was raised, announcing the future of the venue. In a font keeping in the Old West style of the place, it read, “Spaghetti Western,” leading us to tilt our heads and say, “What?”

New owners, Jasmine and Lorenzo Tomasso, have made their home in the Morongo Basin for several years but were both born and raised in Rome, Italy. Jasmine grew up in the countryside just outside of Rome, in a small town called Casali di Mentana. Ennio Morricone was her neighbor. Morricone was an Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor, and trumpeter with more than 400 scores for cinema and television, as well as more than 100 classical works. Morricone is widely considered one of the most prolific and greatest film composers of all time.

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Lorenzo grew up in Trastevere, in the same neighborhood as Sergio Leone. Leone was an Italian film director, producer, and screenwriter credited as the pioneer of the Spaghetti Western genre and widely regarded as one of the most influential directors in the history of cinema.

The duo, both accomplished musicians, have been in love with the “Spaghetti Western” genre since they were little. They ate, slept, and breathed that culture, tradition, and style. Ever since they moved out here to the “Far West”, they dreamed of merging these two aesthetics and creating a world in which the two blended seamlessly. Their dream is finally coming true in Morongo Valley. Spaghetti Western is not just a restaurant, it’s a way of life, a philosophy, where guests will be transported by a genuine Western-Italian experience.

They KNOW Italian food and understand that guests are looking for much more than a good meal. “Italian hospitality is renowned all over the world and for good reason,” shares Jasmine. “In Italy, when you invite guests to step into your home, they become part of the family, and that is precisely what we are creating. Spaghetti Western is an extension of our home, and we want each and every guest to enjoy an all-around immersive experience. Every detail, from the design to the music, to the plate of pasta and glass of wine, will be curated masterfully to guarantee an unforgettable experience.”

As musicians and performers, Jasmine and Lorenzo also look forward to providing high quality entertainment for their guests. The restaurant has a stage where both local artists and performers traveling through the desert will be featured. From soft background music during dinner service, to special concerts, there will be a range of events everyone can enjoy. If we’re lucky, we’ll hear this fantastic duo perform regularly in English and Italian.

Photo Credit: Martina Albertazzi.

Perhaps this grand building just never wanted to be a “Willie Boy’s,” a theme based on tragedy. Maybe she was just waiting for her warmth and charm to be matched by a family who, in their very nature, glow with hospitality and the ability to entertain with profound impact. I am confident that Spaghetti Western will become a home away from home where both locals and visitors can build community and create new, unforgettable memories.

Hopes are high that they will open their doors for the first time this December. As for the forlorn, tailless pony out front, well… there is a whole plan unfolding on its behalf. You’ll see.

The planned hours are Wednesday-Sunday 4pm-9pm.

Spaghetti Western is located at 50048 29 Palms Hwy, Morongo Valley, CA 92256

You can reach them by phone at 760.363.7444

Follow them on social media:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SpaghettiWesternMorongoValley

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/spaghettiwesternmorongovalley

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