Clayton Memories

Take a stroll down Memory Lane in Clayton, Missouri

Tony and Kathy Pietoso

Interview by Anna Anzilotti

Kathy and Tony Pietoso began their little family restaurant in downtown Clayton. At the time there were about five restaurants in the downtown area and the Pietosos took a risk, against their better judgment, and began their own place in 1989. With pride, and three young sons, they opened Café Napoli. The restaurant consumed all their time and, as parents, they remember bringing their children from school to the restaurant and putting the older ones to work, while the little ones slept in a booth. The Pietosos love the Clayton area because of the loyalty they get from the city. When they began, their advertising was very limited. Tony would stand on the sidewalk with a towel flung over his shoulder and pull people in as they walked by. Café Napoli’s first customers were four young Clayton attorneys. They were walking back to work, having just eaten, and Tony ushered them into his place, assuring them that they would like what they would eat, and if they didn’t they wouldn’t pay. Though the men had already eaten, just minutes earlier, they sat and enjoyed what they had. The Pietosos recognize them as loyal customers, even today. As the Pietosos have moved and expanded their business many things have changed; the boys now run the restaurant, there is outdoor seating to enjoy, and Tony never has to pull people in from the street. But somethings will never change; the food will always be the best, and the service fantastic, Tony and his boys greets people as they come in to eat, and an experience at Café Napoli is always welcoming, heart warming, and delicious. The Pietosos’ business has become a downtown Clayton staple and the family has become an important part of the community.

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