Story by Megan Whitehead | Dec 28, 2016
Photography by Keith Borgmeyer

For 25 years, Jefferson City has enjoyed delicious Italian cuisine from Domenico’s.

Jefferson City is rooted in tradition. As the state capital, we have buildings, monuments, parks, and more that hold years of history and memory.

Some places, like the Lohman Building at Jefferson’s Landing, have been part of Jefferson City since its founding. Some places, like Jefferson City and Helias Catholic high schools, have only been around less than a century but have played big roles in the lives of many residents. Some places, like Domenico’s, brought their own history to our city and added to it.

The Domenico’s empire began in Florissant with Joe Arcobasso’s Domenico’s. The business eventually grew to include Concetta’s, in St. Charles, and Domenico’s at the Lake of the Ozarks. In 1991, Joe’s son, Mark, opened Domenico’s in Jefferson City.

“I didn’t go to college to get into the restaurant business,” says Mark. “Quite the opposite, actually. I went for business management, but opportunity knocked in a big way.

“I was typing a resume when my then fiancée, now wife, told me this place was becoming available,” says Mark. This place was Nicole’s, a new, very popular Italian restaurant located at 3702 W. Truman Blvd.

“We were living in St. Louis at the time,” Mark continues, “but we had been patrons there a couple times on my days off. I had told Vicki that if this guy ever decided to change locations, I’d be interested in looking.”

One day after Mark moved to Jefferson City to get away from the restaurant business, he began talking to the landlords at Capitol Plaza West. He was interested in what was to be the home of his restaurant for the next 25 years. “I call it destiny-slash-fate,” he says.

Mark had the experience — what he liked about his family’s restaurant and what he didn’t — needed to build an establishment he knew Jefferson City would enjoy.

Through the years, his menu has changed and expanded, but the popular originals remain. “Everything on the menu sells. That’s why I keep the menu so extensive,” says Mark. “We always use fresh ingredients, and we can combine different ingredients to create dishes to meet specific tastes.”

Family tradition, luck, and hard work all lead to the creation of a Jefferson City essential. The Arcobasso’s commitment to quality and versatility is why Domenico’s has become a part of Jefferson City’s history, with 25 years in business and counting.