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Papa Dio's separates itself from other Italian restaurants

Quality, consistency and service are the three fundamentals Papa Dio's Italian Restaurant relies on to separate itself from other Italian restaurants in Oklahoma City.
By Jack Money Modified: July 10, 2010 at 4:36 pm •  Published: March 5, 2009
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Quality. Consistency. Service.

These are the three fundamentals Papa Dio's Italian Restaurant relies on to separate itself from other Italian restaurants in Oklahoma City, owner and chef Bill Bonadio says.

"I don't have location. I don't have location, and I don't have location," he says. "So, when you don't have location, you have got to have something else to keep people coming back."

Papa Dio's consistently accomplishes that by serving tasty food with a staff that's worked there for "a tremendous amount of time," he says. "And our recipes and our flavors, they stand out over anything."

Bonadio, 53, a third-generation restaurateur, literally grew up in the business. Originally from Connecticut, he started helping out in a restaurant owned by his father, Bill Bonadio Sr., when he was 8 years old by washing dishes and cleaning up around the place. As he grew, he worked his way up through the kitchen, learning various aspects of the business from his father along the way.

They brought the family business to Oklahoma in 1971, and, when his father went into semi-retirement, Bonadio opened his first restaurant — Dio's Original Fried Pizza — in 1979, nearly next door to where Papa Dio's is today.

His first restaurant, however, struggled because it was surrounded by other, mainstream pizza operations such as Pizza Planet, Godfather's and Little Caesars.

"I didn't have a prayer," he remembers. His father, then, suggested he change his concept and go with Italian food instead, noting, "There's no good Italian restaurants around here."

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Hours

4:30 to 9 p.m. Monday

4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday

4:30 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Closed on Sunday

Phone

755-2255

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