Vito's, landmark 1950s Italian restaurant, closes – for now

Nov 25, 2022 245

BY: Rita Cipalla

Vito’s, a treasured Seattle landmark on First Hill, has seen a lot of ups and downs during the past seven decades. Opened in 1953 by brothers Vito and Jimmy Santoro, the restaurant drew its clientele from many walks of life – politicians and newspaper reporters, sports stars and business owners, and many of the doctors and nurses who worked at nearby hospitals. The restaurant survived Jimmy’s death in 1971 and Vito’s in 2000.

It weathered four ownership changes in recent years, the latest in 2010 when the space was transformed by new owners into a dining and dance lounge. Even the pandemic, which caused so many restaurants to go under, was taken in stride. What ultimately laid Vito’s low was a fire this past June that started in the apartment complex upstairs. 

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