To say that Yarusso Bros Italian Restaurant is an old school would be a significant understatement.
Offering signature Italian classics including melt-in-your-mouth fettucini alfredo, spaghetti and meatballs (they are the size of baseballs, not kidding) and a Hot Dago sandwiches, Yarusso’s is a favorite East St. Paul haunt that will have you reminiscing through flashbacks of The Godfather.
The decorated walls give you a sense of the history Yarusso’s carries. Covered with old photos and blown up newspaper clippings of the Ma Baker and John Dillinger years in Pig’s Eye, along with Italian art, family pictures, and an ode to the police and firemen of St Paul.
A bit of history about Yarusso. Francesco Yarusso was born in a small village located approximately 140 miles south of Rome. He arrived in the United States in 1899 and settled in Newark, NJ.
In 1904, with his wife, Francesco made his way to St Paul. Their first home was located in Swede Hollow and sometime in 1911, they moved up the hill on Decatuer Street, which is lower Payne Avenue today.
Francesco worked in Schmidt Brewery where his experience brought about a desire to open his own tavern. He did just that in 1932. However, it was prohibition time and he sold only near-beer. In the following year, he expanded by opening the Square Deal Café. The cafe became famed for having the very first Bocce alleys in St. Paul. In 1947, Francesco retired and his sons took over, changing the name to Yarusso Bros.
If you are in the area, make a point to stop in. The inviting booth seating and long tables are perfect for single diners and big families, alike. The fun, engaging staff alone will have you wishing you found this place sooner.