Leo Anticoli — the 80-year-old patriarch of what is believed to be the Dayton area’s longest-established, continually operating restaurant family — announced this morning that he has sold the building that houses Anticoli’s Giuliano Tavern and will retire after the restaurant closes June 7.
“It’s been a good road serving many generations over the years,” Anticoli said. “I have many, many great memories of the hundreds of friends I have been made along the way, including customers and loyal employees.”
The closing of Anticoli’s Giuliano Tavern does not mark the end of the Anticoli restaurant legacy: One of Leo’s sons, Michael, operates La Piazza restaurant in Troy.
Leo Anticoli’s parents, Antonio and Sarah Anticoli, opened a restaurant on East Fifth Street in Dayton on New Year’s Eve 1931, offering sandwiches, spaghetti, hamburgers and meatballs. The first day’s sales totaled 5 cents.
That restaurant, named Rendezvous, moved to North Dayton’s Salem Avenue 20 years later and became Anticoli’s.
The “Anticoli’s” name resonates with a significant proportion of Miami Valley residents who dined and celebrated special family events at the Salem Avenue during that restaurant’s heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. During that era, Leo oversaw the iconic restaurant’s kitchen, while his brother Tony and sister Gloria ran the front of the house. Tony retired in 1995 and died in 2005; Gloria — described by her brother Leo as “the heart” of Anticoli’s — stepped away from the restaurant in 1999 and died in 2012.
Anticoli’s closed in 2000, and Leo then launched Caffe Anticoli, which operated on North Main Street in Clayton from 2000 to 2010. After it closed, Leo and his son Chris moved south to open Anticoli’s Giuliano Tavern in Miamisburg, adding the reference to Leo’s father’s hometown in Italy to the restaurant name.
Leo Anticoli had open heart surgery in early 2014, but shortly after returning to work at the restaurant, he put together a special menu that included several favorites from the Salem Avenue restaurant to commemorate his family’s 83rd anniversary of owning a restaurant in the Dayton area.
After June 7, “I will finally get a feel for the retired life,” Anticoli said. “My wife deserves it.”
Anticoli invited all of his current and former customers to visit the restaurant at 67 S. Main St. in downtown Miamisburg before it closes June 7, and reminded holders of gift certificates to use them before the restaurant closes. Anticoli’s Giuliano is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday, and for lunch Friday through Sunday.
The restaurant building and its equipment have been sold to another operator who intends to change the restaurant’s concept, Anticoli said.
For more information, call (937) 859-3000 or go to www.giulianotavern.com.