Valentino's Pizza

7202 Giles Rd
La Vista, NE 68128
Phone: 402-596-0100

In 1957, Val and Zena Weiler operated the Campus Fruit Market in Lincoln, Nebraska. It was clear to them that their business would soon be eclipsed by the large supermarkets springing up across Lincoln. The landmark which had stood for a dozen years, had to go. In its place, armed with three dozen pizza pans, a recipe that had been in Mrs. Weiler’s family for years, and a generous amount of trepidation, they decided to open a pizza business.

They took in $60 their first day, and as the restaurant’s reputation grew, patrons began to gather and watch through the window as the pizzas were made. They would stand in line for an hour or more to sample the pizza and pasta specialties created in the original restaurant.

There was just one location then and no trip to the city was complete with out stopping to eat at Valentino’s!

About three years after the 1971 purchase of Valentino’s, members of the Messineo and Alesio families carefully formulated plans to expand into additional locations.

Through controlled expansion, and an elaborate system of quality controls, Valentino’s steadily grew. In 1990, Valentino’s opened its first Valentino’s To-Go location, offering take out service only. These stores were an immediate success. Today there are more than 18 successful To-Go locations operating.

Today, Valentino’s has expanded to 35 restaurant locations in 4 different states. The wait is seldom longer than fifteen minutes now, but the recipes and meticulous preparation steps remain.

The Secret to Success

Valentino’s success began with those wonderful family recipes that were passed on when the business changed hands in 1971. However, there’s more than recipes to this story. The highest quality food, reasonable prices, immaculately clean and comfortable restaurants, genuinely friendly service, and a written corporate creed which says that “community service is as important as the quality of the food”, have helped keep Val’s tremendously popular.

Valentino’s Timeline: Then and now

  • 1957 – Val and Zena Weiler open Valentino's at 35th and Holdrege streets.
  • 1965 – Dining room expands.
  • 1972 – Tony and Ron Messineo purchase Valentino's.
  • 1973 – Mike Alesio joins Valentino's
  • 1974 – Second location opens at 70th and Van Dorn streets.
  • 1975 – First franchise opens in Topeka, Kansas.
  • 1976 – First Omaha location opens at 132nd Street and West Center Road.
  • 1979 – Introduces limited buffet at 35th and Holdrege and 70th and Van Dorn locations.
  • 1982 – Begins Piece of the Pie, its pizza-by-the-slice operation at East Park Plaza; expands to 45 units before selling in 1985.
  • 1985 – Expands buffet for lunch and dinner.
  • 1989 – Introduces Sunday brunch buffet.
  • 1990 – Opens first To Go takeout and delivery store at 33rd and A streets.
  • 1992 – Introduces pizza-pasta-salad Express Lunch.
  • 1994 – Became Official Pizza of the Huskers and starts selling pizza by the slice at Memorial Stadium
  • 1999 – Creates Premier catering and becomes official caterer for UNL athletics
  • 2000 –Opens first Grand Italian Buffet (400 seats, 12 buffet stations) at 108th and Qst in Omaha, NE.
  • 2002 – Becomes official pizza and caterer for Universty of Nebraska Lincoln athletics.
  • 2007 – Opens first Super To Go, a carry-out, delivery, dining room and drivethrough on West O Street.
  • 2014 – Relocates Original Valentino’s on 35th and Holdrege to new facility on same property

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