Vito Impastato (restaurateur, organized crime suspect)

Springfield suspects in the kidnapping of a Peoria banker line up with weapons police seized from them in 1933. From left, Joe Caioli, Tony Campo, Vito Impastato, Charles Fenello, Patsy Aiello, Frank Longo (SJ-R files)

Springfield suspects in the kidnapping of a Peoria banker line up with weapons police seized from them in 1933. From left, Joe Caioli, Tony Campo, Vito Impastato, Charles Fenello, Patsy Aiello, Frank Longo (SJ-R files)

Vito Impastato, though often suspected of crimes including kidnapping, bank robbery and murder, built an enduring career as a restaurant operator in Springfield.

Vito Impastato in 1975 (SJ-R files)

Vito Impastato in 1975 (Courtesy State Journal-Register)

His restaurants began in the 1930s with the Club Holiday, MacArthur Boulevard and North Grand Avenue. Later, he operated the Orchid Lounge and, for more than 20 years, the Supper Club. Both were far south on Sixth Street. In the 1970s, he operated a namesake restaurant/bar, Impastato’s, at Second and Jefferson streets.

“I got lots of pleasure from the Supper Club,” Impastato told The State Journal-Register’s Mick Cochran in 1975. “You put in a lot of time and hard labor and it’s hard to forget. I built that up from a garage to a supper club. There was a lot of me in that place.”

Despite his  run-ins with the law — and a reputation as right-hand man to Springfield rackets boss Frank Zito — Impastato (1904-88) apparently was never convicted of a serious crime. For more information, see Frank Zito and the Zito brothers. schs logo (2)

Original content copyright Sangamon County Historical Society. You are free to republish this content as long as credit is given to the Society.

 

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4 Responses to Vito Impastato (restaurateur, organized crime suspect)

  1. Vito made the best red snapper dishes and oxtail soup! I spent many pleasurable moments having dinner with him and Mrs. Edith Impastato who was also a fantastic chef! They were also fantastic in-laws! I miss them.

  2. TERRY LICHTENBERGER says:

    My Mother worked for Vito at the Supper Club and us kids would go over there when it wasn’t open for business and him and Jack took care of us with fries and things like that, I remember during ball season I would sell the stickers that they gave us to sell and Vito would buy them all. He treated our mother good and us kids, all I can say is he may have had a background but he was one nice guy when it came to us kids.

  3. My father was Louis Smarjesse . I grew up at the supper club . And …….. I’m not talking …… great times …. that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it . Sorry if you missed out on the real Springfield. Allis Chalmers ….. real farmers … and real men and women . Travel well. Charly Smarjesse
    PS: my dad busted his ass so others could be ….. entertained . What more could you expect from a man …… well done pops

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