PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — How many pizzas have been decked with pepperoni? How many customers lined up for that buffet? Minutello’s restaurant has served up comfort food and memories for 52 years.

Lou Minutello took over from his father and uncle, who opened their first restaurant in Larimer.

Minutello’s moved to Shadyside in the mid ’60s, and many of the customers followed. Some patrons have been coming ever since.

“My parents have been patronizing, grandparents, even when they were located at the old meadow grill,” says customer Arnold Zlotnik. “That’s how long we’ve been coming.”

Lou Minutello has been visiting diners at their tables to say goodbye. His landmark restaurant will close on Sunday.

“I always wanted the flexibility to take care of my kids, and sneak out for a couple of hours, go watch a ball game, go to a dance recital or something like that,” he recalls. “But now they’re older, they’ve graduated from college, and now it’s the right move for me to make. It’s the right time.”

He’ll switch his focus from family dining to “fast casual” when he opens an Italian Oven prototype in the North Hills next month. Frequent patron Jennifer Falbo says Minutello’s will be missed.

“I’ve been coming here for years,” she adds, “since I was in high school. And now I work right across the street. I come at least once a week, twice a week.”

“I’ve been coming here about 40 years, when I was younger, with my parents,” says Ilene Elinoff. “And now, as an adult with my family. And I’m really sad that it’s going to be gone.”

Chef Lisa Febbraro has worked at Minutello’s for 24 years.

“It’s a family restaurant, really, you know,” she says with sadness in her voice. “We were all there, the paisans, Italiani, that’s it.”

More Local News

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Get The All New CBS Local App
KDKA Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE