Did you know that the oldest continuously run restaurant in Johnson County owes it’s name to the one and only Frank Sinatra? According to Steve Scudiero, who runs Tony’s Villa Capri restaurant on Metcalf Avenue, his uncle Vince decided on the restaurant’s name after a visit to Los Angeles. Sinatra’s favorite LA hot spot was called the Villa Capri and Vince Scudiero decided to bring a little bit of California to Overland Park.
Korean War veteran Tony Scudiero and his brother Vince opened the Villa Capri on February 25, 1961 at 8126 Metcalf Avenue. A large cheese pizza cost $1.90, a meatball sandwich was 60 cents, and the filet mignon set a customer back $2.75 in those days. The Villa Capri specializes in pizza and home-cooked Italian meals. Tony’s son Steve started as a busboy at the restaurant when he was 9 years old and has worked there ever since. Nostalgia plays a big role in the Villa Capri’s continued success. Steve said, “people who grew up eating here come back.”
The Scudiero family once operated seven Villa Capris in the Kansas City area, but Tony’s on Metcalf is the only one still in operation. Steve and his wife Diana took over for Steve’s father, and they continue to offer customers quality food in a family atmosphere, the same way it’s been done for over 50 years.
– Matt Gilligan, Johnson County Museum