Our Story

Fanny Mencoboni

"Leo's Market"  1946  
"The Spaghetti House"  1950
"La Cantina"  1954
"La Cantina Italiana"  1998

In 1946, after many years of experience in the grocery and meat-cutting business, Leo and Fanny Mencoboni took their life savings, bought an empty lot next door to their little one-room neighborhood grocery and meat market, and with the help of many friends, constructed what is now La Cantina Italiana.
Completed in 1947 and opened for business in June of that year, it was the area's first completely self-service supermarket. Such innovations as two large picture windows which swung open to allow customers to "sidewalk shop" brought the market to the attention of a national magazine.
It was then, because of the hours spent in the store (sometimes 18 hours a day) Fanny began cooking supper every night in the backroom.
As patrons entered the front doors or walked by outside they could smell the aroma of Fanny's spaghetti sauce. Soon "Mrs. Mencoboni's spaghetti sauce" became a weekly tradition in the neighborhood.
In 1950, as the sauce, Porchetta, homemade sausages, and roast chicken became big favorites, the store was remodeled, making half of it the "Spaghetti House".
In 1954 the menu was expanded, the name was changed to "La Cantina", and the entire building then became a restaurant.

But, there was one more change coming - in 1998, with the influx of Mexican and Latino restaurants in the area, it was realized that the name "La Cantina" was confusing to many; hence the addition of "Italiana".
We sincerely hope you enjoy your visit to our little restaurant. We'll do our best to make you feel like one of the family. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know.