To say the restaurant business is in the blood of Bob Candicci of in Ballwin would be putting it mildly.
Candicci started as a busboy at Rigazzi's on the Hill in the early 1970s. He then ran his own successful restaurant, starting in 1980, with the opening of the now-defunct Candicci's in Clayton. Despite its closure, the restaurant there was a staple of Italian cuisine until 1998, when it relocated to Creve Coeur and later Chesterfield. For the last two years, however, Candicci's has called Ballwin its home.
Candicci said there didn't appear to be a lot of Italian dining options in the area when he first decided to move there, except for a few chains.
"We opened two years ago here at Manchester Road and Holloway, and we absolutely love our new location," he said.
Candicci said he's proud to serve food made with the same recipes that date back to the original Candicci's, and proud of how many customers are familiar faces.
"I love the fact that our food can make people happy and keep them coming back," Candicci said. "I love to see them smile after they've finished their meal."
Candicci said he can't wait until the weather warms up so he can play his favorite sport, golf, and so he can open the restaurant's newly expanded patio area – something he expanded last year due to a great demand for outdoor dining, he said.
Even indoors, the restaurant has two distinctive areas: A dining section and the bar area, as well as live music Thursday through Sunday focusing on '80s and '90s rock.
Bob said he loves to talk golf, music or about any one of the 50-plus dishes that he serves, and encourages visitors to stop in and say hello – and maybe, just possibly stay for some marinated tenderloin beef tips.