Vito’s is named after the grandfather of owner Jim DeCamp Jr. The story began in 1910 when Vito Gramaglia immigrated to the United States from Italy at the age of 18. He settled in Cincinnati, where he met his wife, Antoinette. It was there that they bore their nine children. They had five daughters and four sons. After his wife’s death in 1932, Vito was left to raise the children alone. He worked as a machinist at the Eastern Machinery Co. where he retired after 25 years.
Vito Gramaglia was well known for his charitable efforts to help the poor in his hometown of Modungno, Italy. He returned to his homeland in 1948 where he was appalled to find many residents poverty stricken and hungry, and the orphanage overcrowded and rundown. Vito gave all the extra clothing he had with him and all the money he was carrying to the people – he then returned home and founded the Benevolent Club.
For the next 20 years, Vito sponsored an annual dance and hosted other activities to raise money for the orphanages and the St. Vincent de Paul home for the aged and the poor in Modugno. In 1958, Vito’s efforts came to the attention of the Italian government and he was awarded the Gold Star of Italy – the highest honor Italy offers.
After retirement, Vito went on to a second career with sons Vincent and Pasquale in a chain of Pasquale’s Pizza restaurants. Vito’s daughter Cecilia and her husband Jim DeCamp Sr. moved their family to Indianapolis to help with the opening of Pasquale’s stores around the city. They owned and operated the Pasquale’s on Troy Avenue and eventually opened a store in Greenwood for their two oldest sons, Rich and Jim Jr., to run. Rich went on to pursue other endeavors. Jim DeCamp Jr. ran the Greenwood store for many years and, in the late 80’s opened three more Pasquale’s around town. In 1992, Jim opened Vito Provolone’s where a Pasquale’s had previously been. The first few years were tough. Jim believed that with time, people who appreciated the friendly service and great food would get the word out and things would work out. Well, they certainly have because they have not only been in business for 17 years, they opened a second Vito’s in the heart of the city. Jim is quick to thank early loyal customers who continue to make weekly visits to the restaurant.
“We have a solid customer base – people that come in two and three times a week. It is because of them that we have made it through the years,” Jim said. He now entrusts his daughter to handle the day-to-day operations.
At Vito’s we pride ourselves on the basic philosophy of provenance. To us this means authenticity, assurance and rigorous attention to obtain the finest quality ingredients at source. This dedication ensures that every time you visit us, you experience the true essence of Italian life. Its food, its wine, its culture and (most importantly) the passion of the people.
Vito’s has become a tradition to many families. Stop in sometime and make it your family’s tradition.