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Vescio’s: A Dinkytown Staple Since 1956

Dec 28

Chances are, if you attended or worked at the U you’ve been to Vescio’s. Founded by the  by Frank & Charolette Vescio in 1956, they’ve been serving authentic Italian comfort food to generations of University students, staff, and locals. One of the oldest businesses in Dinkytown, today the restaurant is run by Frank Jr. & Eileen Vescio and their children Tony & Susie. Largely unchanged over the years, they focus on classic Italian family recipes that have been favorites for many years. The Vescio family takes pride in the fact that people continue to come back to Vescio’s because of it’s menu consistency and the memories the place holds.  It truly is a family affair, as their grandkids also help out at the restaurant.

Vescio's Dinkytown

The Vescio’s Family: From left to right Tony, Eileen, Frank & Susie

Dinkytown was original location for the restaurant. In 1984, a second location opened in St. Louis Park (now closed). The family also owns and operates a large booth at the Minnesota State Fair each year. Some of their most popular menu items include spaghetti & meatballs, chicken Romano, lasagna, and Fetticini Alfredo.

Vescio's DInkytown

Original painting of Marshall High students that hangs in Vescios.

Frank Vescio Sr. was in the food business all his life, owning a grocery store in NE Minneapolis. He used to go to the farmers market to source his food and knew all of the vendors. When it came time for him to start a restaurant, his Uncle Nick, a milk man, found the location in Dinkytown that friend wanted to get out of. Frank moved in and the rest is history.  The location made sense with it’s proximity to the University, Marshall High School, and Frank’s grocery store in NE Minneapolis. At the time there were only a few other restaurants in Dinkytown.Vescio's Dinkytown

Eileen says her favorite part of being in Dinkytown is the students. She loves when they come in with parents during school visits; many of whom were students at the U themselves and have fond memories of Dinkytown. She also loves the camaraderie of the local business community and that everyone works together to make Dinkytown a great place.

Front dining room of Vescio’s

Vescio’s has had many notable patrons over the years, including many Gopher sports icons and local politicians. Some of the people who have dined at Vescio’s includes Sid Hartman, Bud Grant, Bobby Knight, Frank Viola,Warren Spannaus, and Walter Mondale.

Vescio's Dinkytown

Back dining room

Vescio’s has also seen it’s fair share of wedding proposals, groom’s dinners, birthday parties and has been the location for countless first dates. The offer catering for the entire Twin Cities area and do corporate events, weddings, and any other event that desires authentic family style Italian food.

Vescio's DInkytown

Frank and Eileen have no plans to retire anytime soon. They still love coming to work and the people at the restaurant have become an extension of their family. They don’t travel much as they enjoy going to their grandkid’s sporting events and like being here for them. Owning the restaurant isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle. There isn’t a 9-5 schedule here, the entire family does what it takes to make the place work.

We’d love to hear your stories and memories of Vescio’s!!

Photos by: Katie Thering Photography
Funding for blog series provided by: City of Minneapolis’ Great Streets Program
Food photos provided by Vescio’s