Carino’s Italian Restaurant was founded in 1997 by Norman Abdallah and Creed Ford III in Austin, Texas. The company is Fired Up, Inc, but does business under the Carino’s name.
The company operates a chain of casual Italian restaurants. The original name was Johnny Carino’s, which was changed in 2006 to Carino’s Italian Grill, then simply Carino’s Italian in 2009.
At its peak the company had 170 locations, most of them franchised, in 30 states. However, after filing for bankruptcy in 2014 and again in 2016, many of the locations closed permanently. Today, there are approximately 55 locations that are still open.
In October 2020, Famous Dave’s agreed to co-brand with Carino’s, allowing Carino’s to serve as ghost kitchens.