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When The Sardine Factory opened on October 2, 1968, Cannery Row was a run-down and forgotten piece of Monterey on the wrong side of the tracks, but owners Ted Balestreri and Bert Cutino saw potential. “Everyone thought we were nuts but it was affordable, that was the key word.” says Ted Balestreri as he reflects back to that time. Both experienced restaurant managers, Balestreri and Cutino had the skills to build a successful restaurant but garnering the financial resources to do so was more of a challenge. In the beginning, the restaurant had a mere 72 seats and one dining room. Despite the meager budget and humble exterior, The Sardine Factory continued to grow in popularity due to its reputation for excellent food, service and ambiance.