Vesuvius Restaurant 161 Eighth Avenue

frontvesuvius backThe Vesuvius Restaurant was located at 161 Eighth Avenue at the corner of Sheffield Street. The restaurant, owned by the Siciliano family, was considered one of the finest Italian restaurants on Eighth Avenue. As with the Vittorio Castle, another renowned Eighth Avenue restaurant, it attracted its share of celebrities, the famous and the infamous. When the neighborhood was razed for the Columbus Homes , Vesuvius relocated to Bloomfield Avenue, where it remained for many years.

This plastic demitasse spoon, must have been taken as a keepsake and then stashed away for close to seventy years. Fortunately, when it was rediscovered , it was not discarded. I rarely find many old First Ward “relics”. Most people today would not know where these items originated or why anyone might want them. I hope that if some people who may read this blog have similar items they will think twice before discarding them.

4 thoughts on “Vesuvius Restaurant 161 Eighth Avenue

  1. I was married to the Siciliano’s granddaughter, Madeline DiDonna, in 1956. Her parents, Michael DiDonna and Fortunata(Fannie) worked and operated the business, before turning it over to their son Domenic (Donald) who ran it for some years, before selling it, and moving to Florida.
    We have two children, Joseph and Maria, and ten grandchildren . Donald married and has one daughter.
    To be able to eat their food for months while courting Madeline daily was the experience of a lifetime. Its authenticity, variety and flavors were overlays of my subsequent eating experiences in Naples.
    It was truly a blessing in response to a prayer to St. Anthony that brought us together. I am indebted to him forever.


    1. Hi Joseph,
      Thank you for sharing your story. Vesuvius was an integral part of the restaurant row on the late lamented 8th Avenue. Your story is a true tale from a Newark long, long ago. Vesuvius was fortunate to survive it’s initial demise and thrived for many years on Bloomfield Avenue.
      As a totally unrelated aside, my late grandmother had a devotion to St. Anthony. My late uncle was named Anthony Gerard.
      Appreciate your comments.
      John Lipari


  2. My grandfather was the bartender at Vesuvius for several years. Despite his now dementia, he speaks only fondly of his years there.


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