Isaac Rodriguez said he has spent his career working at Italian restaurants, including as his first job. Since 1997, he and his business partner, chef Teresa Guzman, spent nearly 20 years working together at an Italian restaurant before coming up with their own concept: Marsalas Italian Grill.

The duo originally opened a location in Huffman in 2015 and a second location in Atascocita. During the pandemic, Rodriguez said they decided to close their Huffman restaurant and open a new location. “We didn’t know which direction the industry was going in, so we waited until we thought the time was right,” Rodriguez said.

They found a spot in Conroe at 100 Scarborough Drive and opened the doors in October. Conroe was chosen because of the area’s rapid growth and because it was close to home, Rodriguez said. Most of his staff in Conroe came from his other locations, he said.

Initially, the restaurant struggled under the COVID-19 restrictions.

“It wasn’t until a couple months ago [that we] started to generate more traffic,” he said.

Now, business is growing, and the restaurant also offers full service catering—serving up to 500 guests for breakfast, lunch and dinner—as well as a live saxophone player on Thursday nights. Rodriguez said about 90% of his customers are new faces, and regulars return for the classic Italian dishes. He said he takes the most pride in his sauces and the consistency of the dishes.

“Our food that we have been serving for the last 25 years, it speaks for itself,” he said. “Everyone loves it.”

Marsalas Italian Grill

100 Scarborough Drive, Ste. 3, Conroe


Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.