My family’s restaurant was a downtown Kansas City institution for almost 80 years bringing in folks from
all over the Midwest to dine at this iconic Italian landmark.
As a kid I remember hearing stories of all the famous people who had eaten at the Gardens like Cab
Calloway, Yogi Berra, Frank Sinatra, Willie Masconi, Danny Thomas and many , many more.
The Italian Gardens was a draw for many of the Future farmers of America who traveled from farms
across the county to attend the national convention and the Gardens was the place where they all ate.
We even created a special discounted menu for those future farming leaders.
The Italian Gardens was the first place that the Dallas Texans ate when they arrived in KC to negotiate
the deal that brought them to KC and made them the Chiefs.
The Italian Gardens was where the first St. Patrick’s day parade idea was hatched and where it first took
place in 1973 by Mike Murphy, Dan Hogerty and my Dad Carl Dicapo. That parade ended up being one
of the largest St. Pat’s parade in the US and it all started at the Gardens.
Ewing Kauffman and his card playing crew would come up the street on Fridays from the KC Club to eat
the whitefish that was flown in every Thursday night.
Many people would plan their vacations to KC so they could eat at the Gardens. It was traditional for
many families to eat there on Christmas Eve and party on New Years Eve at the best NYE celebration in
I think we should put a 3/8 cent sales tax on the next ballot to fund the rebirth of the Italian Gardens
and bring back the FFA!


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