Café Italiano

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Cafe Italiano logo.jpg

Café Italiano was an Italian restaurant located in the basement of the Clark Building at 400½ 20th Street North in the 1960s and 70s. The restaurant was owned by Bob and Anna Tronco Williams, who had moved to Birmingham from Columbia, South Carolina in 1964. Instead of accepting another transfer, the Williams, who had previously operated "Villa Tronco" in South Carolina, bought the former Rathskeller and opened their restaurant.

Café Italiano featured steaks and seafood along with traditional Southern Italian dishes like veal scallopini, chicken parmagiano, and lasagna. The restaurant also served pizzas. The dining room was remembered for the use of chianti bottles as candlesticks.

In the 1970s the Williamses opened a second location in the Parkway East Shopping Center at 1153 Huffman Road, next to the Mouse Trap lounge. Both restaurants closed in 1977.

The owners' grandchildren later founded the "Lizard's Thicket" chain of restaurants in the Carolinas.