La Storia

Scotti’s Italian Restaurant has been a staple in Cincinnati’s history for almost a century… And if you’re unfamiliar with this quaint yet authentic locale, this history is for you.

Located at 919 Vine Street in the heart of Cincinnati, Scotti’s has been a family-owned, family-run establishment since 1911. Named for the popular Italian opera star Antonio Scotti, this eatery is far from your typical “Italian-American” restaurant. If you’re looking for a franchise, Scotti’s isn’t for you! Scotti’s has been independently owned and operated by four generations of true Italian blood. The original Scotti’s restaurant (known at the time as “The European Restaurant) was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1911.

Have You Ever Wondered?

The Question: A certain Cincinnati paper recently received an inquiry from a reader who asked “Why does the Italian Restaurant in Cincinnati go by the name of SCOTTI’S? Are the owners Irish? Scotch? - or what nationality?”

The Answer: The majority of Italian Restaurants in the United States are named after Italian celebrities. It maybe an Italian writer, an Italian composer of music, a well-loved Italian opera, perhaps an historic Italian, or maybe a singer.

It was the year of 1911 in Philadelphia when the first Mr. Scotti (whose real identity is Salvatore Scoleri) first encountered the famous Metropolitan opera singer, Antonio Scotti.

Mr. Scoleri and Mr. Scotti became fast friends and Mr. Scoleri requested a favor of Mr. Scotti. He was about to open a new restaurant and was anxious to name it after his new-found friend. Would Mr. Scotti object? Of course not!

Mr. Scotti was highly honored at this request, for at the time, he had not yet joined the ranks of the “famous.” So shortly afterwards, Mr. Scoleri moved to Cincinnati from Philadelphia, and in 1912, “Scotti’s Italian Restaurant” was born.

Scotti’s has been owned and operated by the Scoleri-DiMarco family since its inception - and this tradition has continued throughout the years. Beginning with Salvator Scoleri, it has stayed in the family to this day. The current owners are the great-grandchildren of Salvator Scoleri: Marco DiMarco, Tenerina (Rina) DiMarco Searles, and Pasquale (Pat) DiMarco. On occasion, you may also find the great, great grandchildren of Scoleri bussing tables or serving drinks.

For the last 97 years, Scotti’s has been serving up true Italian cuisine to patrons both young and old. Whether you’re out for lunch with your coworkers or searching for a delightfully authentic dinner experience with the family, Scotti’s Italian Restaurant is the place for you. Come on in and experience almost 100 years in the making! We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Speriamo di vederla presto!
(We hope to see you soon!)