When nervous teenage boys and their sparkling homecoming dates are ushered into seats beside men in jeans and ball caps this fall, they will not only sit down to a meal that will become a fond memory, but they will have become part of an Omaha tradition.
Purchased as a blacksmith shop in 1922 by Sicilian immigrant Joseph Piccolo, the venture took on life as a grocery store, a beer garden, and finally under the management of Joseph’s son Anthony, a restaurant and Omaha landmark.
Still run by family to this day 80 years later, Omaha’s second oldest steakhouse is proving that in a time of drive-thru dinners and burger dives, sitting down to a hot meal with loved ones is still where the heart is.
A meal fit for a billionaire
Warren Buffet counts Piccolo Pete’s as one of his favorite restaurants in Omaha. Such loyal patronage by Buffett is to thank for the introduction of Piccolo’s signature root beer float, which is Buffett’s favorite dessert. When he brings investors to Omaha, the restaurant can go through up to 15 gallons of root beer each day of their stay!
Thoroughly Modern Mangia
In honor of their 80th anniversary, Piccolo Pete’s will be launching its new food truck by the end of August. A decidedly contemporary move, the truck will be run by Scott Sheehan, youngest grandson of Tony Piccolo.
The truck will delight the most old school of Piccolo’s patrons with traditional prime rib and pasta, but will also appeal to the more casual lunch crowd with tempting sandwiches like grilled beef and cheese, Italian steak, and of course, meatball. A breakfast menu will be added featuring a fried biscuit stuffed with egg, hash browns, sausage, and cheese. And it wouldn’t be Piccolo’s if you couldn’t end your meal with the perfect root beer float.
Scott says they have been working on scheduling stops at Farmer’s Markets, college campuses, assisted living facilities, and even doing a Firehouse tour. He also says that he’s excited to be reaching a new demographic, while still bringing the food, service, and tradition that is expected and deserved by their well established customer base.
Find the Truck
To ensure that this one-truck food parade will be easy for hungry fans to locate, Sheehan teamed up with local company One Stop Creates to develop an app that will allow you to not only locate the truck, but get directions to its current location, see a menu of today’s available items, order, and pay. The app will be live at Anthonypiccolos.com soon.
With 80 years of surviving food fads and fast food, Piccolo Pete’s has more than earned its place as an Omaha institution. And with this bold move into mobile mangia, this octogenarian doesn’t look a day older than those anxious teens perusing the pasta options.
2202 South 20th Street