Lost restaurants of Tulsa: The Italian Inn
Most Tulsans remember this classic eatery from its second home in the London Square Shopping Center.
The Italian Inn was open from 1942 to 1992.
Restaurants might come and go in Tulsa, but many have made their mark on our city’s history for their food, service, owners and atmosphere. Here’s one serving of Tulsa’s gastronomic history from “Lost Restaurants of Tulsa.”
Although the Italian Inn started near East 16th Street and South Main Street in 1942, most Tulsans remember this classic eatery from its second home in the London Square Shopping Center near East 61st Street and South Lewis Avenue. When the move occurred in the late 1960s, the restaurant was operated by Don and Betty Funston.
The interior was intimate and romantic, described as “dark as a coal mine” by Connie Cronley of the Tulsa Tribune. White lattice-work walls were adorned with faux grapes and leaves for a bit of old-world ambiance. It was the setting for many prom dates, proposals and celebrations.
Italian Inn’s most beloved menu item was its cheese spread. It was served before every meal with fresh breadsticks, which were baked in a small Italian bakery in Henryetta and driven into town twice a week. The spread was so popular that the family sold it in local grocery stores.
The Italian Inn closed in September 1992.