Old Trieste was founded in 1963 by Ramiro 'Tommy' Tomicich. The restaurant is named after his birthplace, Trieste, Italy. Tommy, as most people knew him, had a no nonsense concept which he applied to his culinary expertise and his attentiveness in the dining room. He was known for enforcing a strict dress code requiring women to wear dresses and men to wear jackets and ties. As a famous story goes, after being denied entry to the restaurant, a woman in a pant suit returned to her car, removed the pants to her suit and returned with the knee length coat. Tommy then seated her without a problem. In 1970, Tommy relaxed his dress code permitting dressy pant suits for women.
The restaurant is now run by Tommy's son Larry and his family. Most of the current employees have worked at the restaurant for 45 years or longer.