old school italian
in old forge pa
Grandma Laurenzi, Lupitze, and the Miners
The woman seated above is our great-grandmother Louisa Laurenzi, who came to northeastern Pennsylvania from Perugia, Italy in the early 1900s. Louisa was one of the first women in town, along with Mrs. Ghighiarelli and Mrs. Pilosi, to make what was then called lupitze—basic pizza dough with a few savory toppings—for the hungry miners who came to drink at her speakeasy on Main Street. That speakeasy, which is now owned by our good friends Arcaro & Genell's just across the street from us, was where Louisa's teenage daughter Mary (standing center) was working when she met a young miner fresh off the boat, our grandfather John Rinaldi.
Grandma Rinaldi, Senior, Uncle Brian, and Us
Grandma Rinaldi passed down her mother's recipes—not just for lupitze but for pasta, sauces, soups, tripe, soffrito, risotto and more—to her sons, our dad Bob Senior (top left) and Brian (center, with our longtime employee Carol Arcaro). These recipes form the staples of our cuisine and are made fresh in our kitchen every day. Now, Bob Junior and Russell bring you our grandmother's favorites along with some modern dishes all our own.
Food, Family, and Friends
Old Forge is a town that knows how to celebrate food, family, and friendship. In a hectic and anonymous world, it's one of those places where community still thrives and "everyone knows your name." Come on down to Cafe Rinaldi, see your friends, have some great food, and be sure to stop in and visit our neighboring restaurants as well. See you soon at the cafe!