Skip to Questions

AskOPL - If you have questions, we have answers!


Is there a list and history of all the old Omaha Resturants.

We keep losing the traditional Itialian Steak houses and I have already forgotten some of the great names and locations. Recently the Itialian Gardens has been in the news. I thought the Old itialian gardens was on about 5th & Pierce just West of the train tracks. What was the name of that resturant?
Last Updated: Jan 23, 2012  |  1669 Views
Topics: History

Was this helpful? 1   0


Actually, I must confess that this one I found through a Google search--see cool blog post with images of old ads at (In fact, this blog entry provides a pretty exhaustive list of old Italian steakhouses, and the comments on it provide still more). It was Sam Nisi’s Sparetime Café at 1211 S. 5th St. We do have a biography file on Sam and Alfia Nisi, the Sicilian immigrants who owned the restaurant (actually, their obituaries). They started the restaurant in 1939 in their home at 1215 S. 5th St. and expanded into the adjoining building. In 1962 the restaurant moved to 707 s. 72nd St.  where Sam and his son Ross operated it until 1970, when they sold it to Anthony Fucninaro, who renamed it Domenico’s. It was nationally known.

The new Italian Gardens, at 1228 S. 6th St., is named after the restaurant that was there before Café de Paris, Louise Salerno’s Italian Gardens, which operated from 1963 to 1969. Salerno ran another Italian restaurant before that, Trentino’s, from 1933 to 1962.

Unfortunately we do not have an organized list and history of old restaurants, though we can usually find out some of the history through our clipping files and old city directories.

Answer provided by Martha Grenzeback, Librarian, Omaha Public Library

Answered by Todd SchlechteBookmark and Share

Other Answers / Comments (1)

  1. Italian gardens was my grandmother louises . she was the best cook ever.
    by cheryl randall on Mar 16, 2014.

Browse by Popular Topics

View All Topics

Related content from Resource & Research Guides