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Vito’s Italian History

Our Story

Roberto and Giovanna Somma have owned-and-operated the restaurant for 43 years and share a simple passion: Great Food!. They were born and raised in Naples, Italy and come from a history of family-run restaurants. Vito Somma, one of the founders of the restaurant, graduated from chef’s school in Naples, Italy in 1964. He then trained at various restaurants in northern and southern Italy, learning first hand the subtleties of each region’s cuisine and in 1967 he left Italy to study other European cuisines. In 1972, all three made the decision to come to America with the desire and dedication to open their own restaurant. That desire brought them to Los Angeles in 1975 and five years later Vito Restaurant was born.

In October, 2024, Jason & Cynthia Reed along with Sean & Melissa Ahaus took over so Giovanna & Roberto could transition into retirement. Jason & Sean have been very close friends since 1980. Coincidentally, that’s the same year Vito Restaurant opened. It has been a life-long dream for them to own a restaurant together and fortunately, after years of searching, they were able to make it happen with one of the most treasured establishments in all of California.

Jason & Cynthia come with 11 years of hospitality experience. They got married and decided to become entrepreneurs and get into the Financial Planning and Insurance business. That was a very successful business for 11 years but the industry changed drastically after 2021. They decided to sell their business to pursue restaurant ownership, which is where their heart is, and spend their time satisfying their guests cravings. 

Sean & Melissa Ahaus have a wealth of hospitality experience. Most recently, Sean was General Manager/Director of Food & Beverage at the San Gabriel Country Club. Melissa helped run the operations and train incoming staff. Prior to the Country Club, Sean brings over 32 years of Executive experience with several high-end restaurants starting with The Original Palm Restaurant in West Los Angeles, Mastro’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills, & Castaway in Burbank. Sean & Melissa decided it was time to jump into restaurant ownership and use their experience to make an almost perfect restaurant even better. 

This is an ideal combination of partners bringing extensive hospitality experience along with the business acumen from owning a very successful business prior to Vito. 

All four partners are dedicated to preserving the classic, old-school vibe that Vito has perfected over the years. At the same time, they’ve upgraded the wine list & spirits selections, made a few aesthetic improvements & most importantly, kept all of the tuxedoed servers, bartenders, runners, bussers, kitchen staff & their beloved manager, Lia. Chef Ernesto continues to impress after 32 years at the helm. Chef Rene is going on his 10th year. 

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