‘NO NO NOOOOOOOO!!!!’ This Johnson County Italian restaurant closes after 62 years

·2 min read

Steve’s Villa Capri, a Johnson County mainstay for decades, has closed.

The restaurant was founded in Overland Park in 1961 and most recently operated at 10412 Mastin St. The owners couldn’t be reached for comment.

In a Thursday Facebook post, they said: “Dearest Friends, Staffing has once again hit us. We have decided to close the restaurant as of today’s lunch, May 25th. We can’t thank you enough!”

Fans posted such comments as:

“Enjoy your retirement. You made the best spaghetti and meat sauce. Take care my friend.”

“So sorry to hear; that pizza is like no other! Agree with others — enjoy your retirement! VC & SVC sure had an EXCELLENT run.”

“This is so sad. We have been eating Villa Capri since the 60’s from the 47th and Troost location back in the day. You will be missed.”

“Thank you for every birthday, anniversary, date, and family meal memory! Your restaurant was my very favorite. Happy retirement!”

“The end of an era. The best pizza!!”

“Thank you for the great food and memories!”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! NO NO NOOOOOOOO!!!! You guys are my favorite Italian restaurant in the world!!! We drive from Topeka to eat dinner there!!!! Been coming there since the ‘60’s!!!!”

Anthony “Tony” Scudiero opened the restaurant in downtown Overland Park in 1961 with his brother, but he became sole owner a year later. At one time there were a half dozen locations across the metro, and its tuna pizza was a popular order, along with two 8-ounce lobster tails.

His son, Steve, started washing dishes and busing tables as a 12-year-old. Then he moved up — pizza cook, delivery boy, spaghetti cook and management.

He left to work for casinos here and in Colorado for a dozen years, while occasionally filling in at the restaurant. His mom died and dad had a stroke in 2012, and he took over as owner.

Two years later, Scudiero and his wife, Diana, moved the restaurant to the current location, in what was once a Subway and Goodcents training center. Their church met there for a time — calling it the Church of the Checkered Tablecloths. Scudiero family photos, an Italian flag and a map of Italy line the back hallway.

It was best known for its Villa Capri Special Pizza with Italian sausage, pepperoni, hamburger, green pepper, mushrooms and onions, topped with housemade sauce and a provolone and mozzarella cheese mix. (Anchovies or meatballs were $2.25 extra.)

But like many restaurants coming out of the pandemic, they struggled to find enough employees. So the couple ran it together with just a dishwasher and server, working four hours at dinner Thursdays through Saturdays.

In a Star story last year about Kansas City’s oldest restaurants, Scudiero said its secret to success was “consistency, the friendliness, the family atmosphere. A lot of customer service, that’s a big thing. We treat everyone like family.”

A guide to 19 of Kansas City’s oldest restaurants: Their food, families, staying power