Frank and Angelina Leo opened Leo’s Grocery in 1922, selling general goods as well as Italian fare. Angelina’s recipes for Italian bread, sausage, meatballs and spaghetti sauce have always been the mainstays of the Leo family’s reputation for excellent food. Her business savvy was respected and her kindness to the neighborhood children is still a topic of customers today.
Frank and Angelina’s oldest son, Nick, opened a tavern in the early 1940’s and decided to add his homemade pizza to the menu to increase sales. “Nick’s Pizza” was born and has been a weekly staple to many Oelweinites ever since. His thin crust, unique sauce and Angelina’s sausage was served through several businesses Nick owned. Nick was also known for his kindness to customers as well as his infinite number of jokes.
Today, the 3rd generation of the Leo family continues the tradition of serving excellent food in a friendly atmosphere. Mike Leo owns Leo’s Italian Restaurant and Leo’s Generations Lounge at 29 S. Frederick in downtown Oelwein. Learning at the side of his grandmother and his father, Mike developed great cooking skills. He has added his own creations such as the “Panino” and “Leo’s Bread Bowls” of which the latter is sold in several states. Mike has created a diverse menu serving Italian and American fare in a warm, unique, old world setting.
In 2008, he turned the second story into the modern Generations Lounge serving a wide variety of wines, specialty drinks and over 70 beers with a full menu. Customers frequently comment they feel like they are in Chicago or New York. Whether you are downstairs or up, you’ll discover a unique dining experience that will keep you coming back!