A rich history runs through the veins of our founder, Luciano Barzini. You can taste his love of family tradition and hope for a new beginning in every dish on our menu.
As the story goes, Luciano Barzini is the grandson of Don Emilio Barzini, who was the head of one of New York’s Five Families, and the second most powerful Mafia don in the country after Vito Corleone.
Growing up on Staten Island, Luciano loved watching his father and mother cook and often begged them to let him help! One day while his mother was cooking, he bit her hand to get her attention. After that, she started calling him her little scorpion and knew she could no longer ignore his wishes to help with the family’s meals.
“How’s the Italian food in the restaurant?”
“… It’s the best in the city.”
Luciano’s father wanted a better life than he had for his only son. So, he encouraged Luciano’s dream of being a chef. Luciano enrolled in a Culinary Arts program in the Bronx, where he excelled immediately!
The culinary arts program also had an aspiring chef-to-be named Carmela Antonelli. She and Luciano would become instant friends and marry six months later. They were overjoyed when they found out Camilla was pregnant only a few months later.
Their joy quickly turned to fear when there was an attempt on his father’s life on the same day. Luciano’s father would survive this attempt but suggested that his son move his family closer to Camilla’s hometown for their safety. The young couple would relocate to a small town in Minnesota where they could begin their new life.
Luciano “Lo Scorpioni” opened his first restaurant, Barzini’s, in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. The doors opened on March 3rd, 2020 but had to close 13 days later due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not to be deterred, Luciano perfected his carryout service, continuing to serve up delicious Italian fare until things improved.
After the pandemic restrictions were lifted, the young Barzini purchased G’s Cafe in Anoka and transformed it into Barzini’s Italiano. Photos of family, friends, and foes alike are reminders of where Luciano Barzino came from. He even brought in a player piano for his customers’ musical pleasure.
Today Barzini’s Italiano serves some of the most delectable comfort food around! Couples and families alike have made dinner at Barzini’s a regular part of their week. Thank you for stopping in. You will be glad you did!