February 21, 2013 5:57 AM
73, passed away peacefully Wednesday February 13, 2013 in Santa Barbara, California.
He was born November 6, 1939, in the town of Tramatza, on the Italian island of Sardegna. He moved to Berlin, Germany in 1958 where he learned the art of hotel and restaurant hospitality, then London, England, and found his way to New York, New York in 1960. In 1964 he moved to Des Moines, Iowa and eventually began a successful catering service. This led to the opening of Guido's Restaurant at the Savery Hotel. Guido was the frontrunner for good food and wine in Iowa and set the standard for all fine dining in the state. Continental elegance drew people to Guido's Restaurant, a place for very discreet affairs and the place "to see and be seen" in the words of one reviewer. Tuxedo wearing servers delivered antipasto, Dorothy Goldberg salads, veal, duck, pasta, beef and the signature prime rib which was carved table side by Guido from a gleaming stainless steel and rosewood cart on wheels. Menu covers were stiff cowhide embossed with the logo: a 'G' atop a stem in the form of a wine goblet. Josephine Fenu's zuppa inglese rivaled prime rib in the appetites of diners who included senators, would-be presidents, film and stage stars, comedians, judges, network news anchors, ballet dancers, columnists, musicians, prominent and soon-to-be-prominent business people. Relationships were begun, nourished and broken over dinner at Guido's with piano music in the background or the sound of the Irene Myles jazz trio across the Savery Hotel lobby in the lounge.
Guido leaves behind his wife Josephine Fenu. Two sons Robert Fenu (wife Lisa) of Des Moines, Iowa, Mario Fenu (wife Katie) of Las Vegas, NV, and daughter, Sara Fenu of Santa Barbara. Grandchildren Genesis Fenu and Marco Fenu. Two sisters, Lucia Fenu-Barale of Piedmont, Italy and Maddalena Fenu-Cadeddu, of Iglesias, Italy. He was preceded in death by his parents, Costantino and Anna Maria Fenu, brothers Dario and Flavio. And Sister Rosanna Fenu-Milia, all of Italy.
A prayer service will take place and open mic will be held Friday, February 22 at 5 pm at the Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Home, 15 E. Sola St., Santa Barbara, CA. His Funeral Mass, to celebrate Guido's life, will be this Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:00 am at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 1300 E. Valley Rd., Montecito, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to Direct Relief International, 27 South La Patera Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93117-9806 , or to Dowling High School, 1400 Buffalo Rd., West Des Moines, Iowa 50265.
Arrangements entrusted to Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels.