Yarusso Brothers Italian Restaurant

Francesco and Dora Yarusso were the founders of today’s Yarusso Brothers Restaurant at 635 Payne avenue. They arrived in St. Paul in 1904 and headed for Swede Hollow, where they started to raise their fourteen children. They soon moved up the hill and Frank, as he was listed in the 1919 city directory, was a laborer living at 562 Decatur Street. In 1932 he and Dora opened a tavern that sold soft drinks and prohibition-allowed near beer.

The following year the couple opened the "Square Deal Café." They put in the first Bocce alleys in Saint Paul and the Italian sport quickly became a popular event outside the restaurant. Many area residents gathered on Sunday afternoons to smoke cigars and play the traditional game.

Francesco and Dora retired in 1947 and some of their children took over the restaurant, renaming it "Yarusso Brothers." The restaurant was enlarged and remodeled, but the food remained much the same and the original sauce recipe is still used.

Now a third generation of Italian-Americans are in charge. David, Fred, and Michael Yarusso have worked hard to keep their grandfather and father’s traditions alive, and the walls are covered with old photos and artwork that have family and neighborhood images. Yarusso’s continues to be a popular destination for Saint Paul diners. Spaghetti and meatballs are still the signature dish and the menu is stocked with familiar Italian fare like eggplant parmesan and, as they call them, “hot dago” sandwiches.

Images

Yarussos

Yarussos

Date: July, 2013 Photo by: Tony Andrea View File Details Page

Yarussos

Yarussos

Italian restaurant Date: July, 2013 Photo by: Tony Andrea View File Details Page

Frank Yarusso family

Frank Yarusso family

Date: 1922 Photographer: Nelson Studios Image courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society View File Details Page

Bocce ball game

Bocce ball game

Next to Square Deal Cafe Date: Approximately 1945 Image courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society View File Details Page

Men playing bocce ball

Men playing bocce ball

On lower Payne Avenue Creator: St. Paul Dispatch Photographer: Ted J. Strasser Date: July 27, 1969 Image courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Steve Trimble, “Yarusso Brothers Italian Restaurant,” Saint Paul Historical, accessed March 30, 2017, http://saintpaulhistorical.com/items/show/288.

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