The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on October 23, 2009 · Page GO15
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page GO15

Indianapolis, Indiana
Issue Date:
Friday, October 23, 2009
Page GO15
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1ST The Indianapolis Star Friday, October 23, 2009 Go! 15 Go! eat out Now, that's Italian! FAMILY RESTAURANT, POPULAR IN THE 1930S, REOPENS By Jenny Elig Some 70 years ago, Iozzo's Garden of Italy was a two-floor restaurant with a bandstand and a hearty menu of slow-cooked favorites of southern Italy. It was a Midwestern destination spot, a place where people came to celebrate birthdays or dance the night away a place so large it took up three addresses along South Illinois Street. Iozzo's closed in 1941 as the result of a family tragedy. But this past summer, original owner Fred Iozzo's 28-year-old great-granddaughter, Katie Cummings, reopened the restaurant. Iozzo's history Originally from Calabria, Italy, Fred Iozzo brought his family to Indianapolis by way of Boston. Iozzo opened a line of grocery stores, but when the Depression hit, he closed the stores and in 1930 opened the restaurant. In 1940, a group of sailors came into the restaurant and began flirting with Iozzo's daughter Margaret. Margaret's brother Dominic decided the flirting had gone too far and a brawl ensued. Iozzo, who heard the fight from the backroom, burst out and shot a sailor who was choking his son. The sailor died, and Iozzo was charged and convicted of involuntary manslaughter. He went to prison for a little more than 26 months, causing the restaurant to close. "There was no one to run the restaurant," Cummings said. "It was such a tragedy for the family." The Iozzos, Cummings said, found themselves shunned by the Italian-American community and moved from the Southside to Broad Ripple. Iozzo died in 1945, a few years after his release from prison. at 946 S. Meridian St., Cummings said the new restaurant pays homage to her Italian roots both in the menu (which features many of the same veal, pork and lamb selections, as well as sauce recipes her great-grandparents used) and the decor (with hand-etched glass work illustrating a rustic scene and light fixtures made of blown glass from Italy). Iozzo's is just like it was in the '30s a mix of Old and New World. "My grandma Elizabeth Iozzo just turned 93," Cummings said. "She is so excited and thrilled that I've reopened the place where she met her husband (Dominic). He was singing behind the bar when she met him." On the menu You won't find drinks for 35 cents, as in the old days, but Iozzo's current menu is full of flavor. Appetizers include bruschetta ($5.95), crab cakes ($12.95), stuffed mushrooms ($9.95), and brick oven pizza appetizers (starting at $9.95). Soups and salads (including Italian wedding soup) and entree salads take up a sizeable amount of the menu. Entrees are meat-heavy, with two veal choices, beef and lamb dishes (including Lamb Leg Rustico, $25.95) and seafood choices (such as the seared scallops, $22.95). jFVqJiV fajV New beginnings Now located -Iozzo's Garden of Italy Where: 946 S. Meridian St. Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Friday; 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Information: (317) 974-1100. MICHELLE PEMBERTON The Star Katie Cummings reopened her family's restaurant, Iozzo's Garden of Italy, in August, serving heaping plates of spaghetti (left) and other Italian specialties. I FGStMJIft I Off! WZr with purchase of 2 adult Hibachi dinner entrees. Valid for a party of two. Dine in only. Coupon not valid at lunch. Not valid with other dscountsor coupons. Must present coupon. Valid 102309 thru 102909. 1-465 & S. Emerson Ave, Exit 52 Beech Grove 787-7900 Happy Hour V2 PRICE SUSHI MON&TUES 5-7pm Dine-In Only No! valid with other discoonts or coo poos. Most present coo pon. Limit one coo poo per customer. Valid 1026098 1 02709 only.

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