Model Role Details

Jesse Maali

Sector : Business , Businessmen

Personal Info

  • Country of residence : United States
  • Gender : Male
  • Age : 0
  • Curriculum vitae :


There was Jesse Maali, a Palestinian immigrant who operated inner-city grocery stores in New York. He came to the drive in 1985 to open a Ponderosa Steakhouse near Wet 'n Wild and made it the busiest in the world with $6 million in annual sales. In fact, before he died in January 2015 at age 59, Maali owned the top four restaurants in the Ponderosa chain, including one on South I-Drive and two on U.S. Highway 192.

"He just had a feeling about it," Maali's brother, A.J., said of the first Ponderosa site. "Ponderosa did not approve of the site."

(When he died, Maali was awaiting trial on federal immigration and tax charges, accused of secretly hiring and paying dozens of undocumented workers from 1999 to 2001 at gift and apparel stores he co-owned.)


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