The original "Caruso" Nicasio Zagona surrounded by generations of his decedents during a family banquet at "Vince's" (son) in 1966
Salvatore Vincent Zagona, age 100, passed away on February 7, 2021, of natural causes, after a century of life and illustrious accomplishment.
After the war he came to Tucson, where his father was operating a small Italian restaurant, and after briefly working as a proofreader for the Star he leased and later bought that restaurant, Caruso’s on 4th Avenue.
He felt his greatest legacy to be Caruso’s Restaurant, which will continue to serve Tucsonans under the guidance of grandniece Andrea Motzkin with Salvatore Jr. and Jennifer McDaniel.
A celebration of his life will be scheduled later this spring. We wish to thank EVERGREEN MORTUARY for arrangements. Memories and condolences may be left at https://www.evergreenmortuary-cemetery.com/obituaries/Salvatore-Zagona/
Caruso's was started in the 1930s by Nicasio (Caruso) Zagona, and the restaurant has remained in the family since then.
Tucson's original Caruso's was located about one block south of its present site. An August rain storm and flood literally washed the place away, so we moved to higher ground, where we've remained for the past seventy-five years or so.
Caruso's was started in the 1930s by Nicasio (Caruso) The restaurant interior layout, its patio, and most of its food preparation methods were developed by the senior Zagona, although inevitably some changes have been made throughout the years. We now have more efficient equipment, of course, but the techniques for making our pasta (for ravioli, lasagna, manicotti, and cannelloni) and our homemade sauces are basically the same. The heart of the place is the "big copper pot," visible from the main dining room. This pot has contained all the Caruso sauce served since our first days in Tucson. We trust that you will find the sauce from this pot and everything else at Caruso's as good as it was when served by the master chef, "Caruso" himself.
Remember when a complete meal cost just $1.35? Of course not...but if you dined in the 1930's at Caruso's you could get a complete dinner for just $1.35 and meet Caruso.