Yarusso Bros.Italian Restaurant, 635 Payne Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota

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Yarusso Bros. Restaurant

Address: 635 Payne Street
Neighborhood/s: East Side, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Ramsey County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Historic Function: Restaurant
Historic Function: Italian restaurant
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
First Owner: Francisco Yarusso
Notes: The building was damaged by fire in February 2009.

East Side Saint Paul Ramsey County

Yarusso Bros.Italian Restaurant, 635 Payne Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota
(44.960837° N, 93.077415° WLatitude: 44°57′39.013″N
Longitude: 93°4′38.694″W


Memories and stories

Francesco Yarusso, founder of Yarusso Brothers Restaurant was born in a small village located approximately 140 miles south of Rome. He Arrived in the United States with his sister Amelia in 1899, at the age of 18. They settled in Newark, NJ, where Francesco met & married Dora Corbo in 1901. Francesco & Dora arrived in St. Paul in 1904. Their first home was located in Swede Hollow. They had 14 children. Around 1911, they moved up the hill on Decatuer Street, which is lower Payne Avenue today. Francesco worked in a foundry, Northern State Power, & Schmidt Brewery. In 1932 he opened his own tavern. However, it was prohibition time and he sold only near-beer. In the following year he expanded by opening the "Square Deal Café". Every family member, at one time was an employee of the café. The Italian sport of Bocce Ball quickly became a popular event at the Square Deal Café. Francesco put in the very first Bocce alleys in St. Paul. Those same alleys are still in use today. Many current patrons recall their fathers & grandfathers gathering on Sunday afternoon to smoke cigars & argue over a game of Bocce.

In 1947, Francesco retired & his sons took over the restaurant & gave it the name "Yarusso Bros.". Joseph, Ernest & David were the primary owners and received dedicated assistance from their sister, Margaret & brother, Lawrence. The five created a special flavor at the restaurant, each having a distinct sense of humor & a robust personality. Other family members added to that atmosphere. The home-cooked food has remained very much the same for over 60 years, along with the same sauce recipe that was created by Francesco Yarusso. David's home was located just 5 feet from the restaurant & his three sons, David, Frederick & Michael started working there as youngsters. As they have often said "the restaurant was and still is their second home". They have been fortunate to carry on the tradition of third generation Italians.

While the world has changed dramatically since the 1930's, Yarussos has remained much as it was when it first opened & remains a testimony to Francesco's legacy. David, Fred, & Michael Yarusso have worked hard to keep the tradition of their father & grandfather alive. The Yarusso Brothers want to thank their loyal customers, some of which are now the 5th generation. They have declared that the reason Yarusso's is so special is because of the patrons who come back again & again. It is also these customers that have played a big part in keeping the Yarusso legacy alive. Thank you. Yarussos

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