Elmira street named after late Vito Manzari to honor his legacy
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Vito Manzari was an Elmira icon in his own lifetime, so it is only fitting that the City continues to honor him after his death. Along with naming June 9th as Vito Manzari Day this past summer, the street that runs past his restaurant now wears his name.
“Vito was always there. He always gave great advice, and everyone was happy to see him,” Elmira Mayor Dan Mandell, adding, “It was one of those things that you went to Vito's not only for the restaurant itself but to see Vito and the family. So, it's an important place in our community.”
Located between Home and East Miller streets in Elmira, about a block from the Clemens Center Parkway, he street formally known as Junction Street is now known as Vito Manzari Drive.
Vito passed down Manzari's to his son Joe in 2000 but continued to work at the restaurant. Joe says he's honored to have the street near the restaurant named after his dad.
“It's well deserved,” Joe said. “I want to thank Elmira Mayor Dan Mandell for going through the process of naming this street after my dad.”
Manzari's Bar and Grill opened in Elmira in the mid-1930s. Since Vito Manzari was young, he worked alongside his grandfather in the family business. In the late '60s, Vito took over the restaurant, running it for the next several decades. Elmira Mayor Dan Mandell said Vito's dedication to the community has had a lasting impact.
Over the years, Vito's engagement with his customers was infectious. Mandell says that's what made Manzari's a community meeting spot where everyone was welcome.
“When I was younger, my dad would bring me over here for spaghetti and a Coke, and just throughout the years,” Mandell started, adding, “This is one of the many things that make the community great, and Vito was part of that.”