Dining With Denise Neil

New Angelo’s expected to open by Thanksgiving on East Central

The new Angelo's will open at 5231 E. Central.
The new Angelo's will open at 5231 E. Central. The Wichita Eagle

Angelo’s owner Jack Fasciano says he’s finally found the place for his reinvention of his family’s longtime restaurant, and he should have it open by Thanksgiving.

Today, he said, he’s signing the lease on two spaces at 5231 E. Central that formerly held the Papa John’s corporate offices.

Fasciano, who had originally envisioned the business as a take-and-bake concept only, has decided to add a dining room, too, and will offer table service and beer and wine along with his famous Italian dishes.

The take-and-bake portion of the business should be open by Thanksgiving, he said, and the dining room, which will seat about 55 people, will be done a month after that.

“It’s the end of a long process but the beginning of one I’m more familiar with,” Fasciano said.

Fasciano originally had settled on the former Toni D’s Deli & Catering space in Carriage Parkway, 650 N. Carriage Parkway, for the business. But at the last minute, he changed his mind. He spent several more months looking for the right spot before settling on the spaces on East Central. He’ll have both Suite A, which has 1,500 square feet and will house the kitchen, waiting area and display coolers, and Suite B, a 940-square-foot-space that he’ll turn into the dining room.

Later today, he said, he plans to share the news with all of his Kickstarter contributors. Earlier this year, Fasciano launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to move his take-and-bake business, which he’d been operating for years out of his home, to a storefront location. He was able to raise $40,000 and offered contributors various prizes, from free pizzas to Angelo’s hats.

He used that money as collateral to secure two more $20,000 loans, he said, and has been using the money to buy used equipment for the restaurant.

Fasciano said his daughter, Gina Fasciano Hogan, who also helped him run the Oliver restaurant, will launch the new business with him. Several other relatives also will work there, and he plans to hire and train a crew of at least seven employees.

Jack Fasciano’s parents, Angelo and Anna, got their start making pizzas out of the basement of their house in the late 1950s. Sicilian-born Angelo, who worked at Boeing, would sell the pizzas to co-workers. They became so popular that he opened a small restaurant on South Laura in 1960. The family moved the restaurant to a building near Harry and Hillside in 1961, then moved to a location across the street in 1976.

The restaurant was known for its distinct pizzas, salads with pickled eggplant and homey pasta dishes. It grew in popularity and expanded. At one point, five Angelo’s were operating across the city. The family also had restaurants in Andover, Hutchinson and Tulsa.

Anna Fasciano died of complications from diabetes in March 2004. Angelo died a year later, in March 2005.

Son Jack Fasciano took over the businesses, but the last remaining location at 1930 S. Oliver closed in July 2006. He’d run out of money and couldn’t keep the restaurant afloat.

Once the dining room of the new business is ready, Fasciano said, the hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.

He’ll start with a “pronto lunch” that will offer a steam table of lasagna, manicotti, pizza by-the-slice, sub sandwiches and more.

On Sundays, he plans to serve homey pasta dishes and salads “family style” or offer a buffet.

“I want to do a nice, homey, comfortable atmosphere where people feel welcome and warm and happy,” he said. “I want a place where everyone can gather.”

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