the original pasta house co. opened in 1974. photo by david kovaluk

The Pasta House Co. is one of St. Louis' most recognizable restaurants

The Pasta House Co. has long reigned as one of St. Louis’ most ubiquitous brands. Since its founding in 1974 by John P. Ferrara, Joseph A. Fresta and J. Kim Tucci, spaces have come and gone, but 18 locations stand strong today. 

Many St. Louisans’ first introduction to Italian cooking came with childhood visits to their neighborhood Pasta House, where they indulged in old-school dishes like spaghetti and meatballs, eggplant parmigiano and lasagna. And those early visits often turn to lifetime patronage – on any given night, you can find generations dining together, celebrating graduations, anniversaries and birthdays.

When Sauce Magazine published its first print issue, The Pasta House Co. was on the cover. Well, sort of – it was a photo of a paper-mache chef in front of the restaurant. The figurine was a part of the 2001 People Project sponsored by the Regional Arts Commission to showcase local artists and students. 

“Kim Tucci called and congratulated me and thanked me for including the pasta man on the cover,” said Sauce founder Allyson Mace. “He said I should have credited him, though,” she added, jokingly.

Adam Rothbarth is a staff writer at Sauce Magazine.