La Casa Pizzaria is moving into west Omaha.
La Casa’s thin-crust pizza, a longtime Omaha favorite, will soon be available at a new spot near 168th and Pacific Streets.
The new restaurant will be called La Casa Pizzaria West at Pacific Springs, and it is set to open in early 2019. Work on Omaha’s third La Casa location has already started.
For the owners, the spot is an expansion of an Omaha tradition.
“People get off of an airplane, and before they see their mom and dad, they come here,” said Anthony Vacanti Jr., who will operate the new location with his father. “We hope to start those traditions with some more people in west Omaha.”
The news comes as the family-owned pizza restaurant celebrates its 65th anniversary this month. The third restaurant will be the first new location built since 1965, when the 84th and Grover Street location opened. The original on Leavenworth Street opened in 1953.
Anthony Vacanti Sr. will operate the new restaurant with his son, making the younger Vacanti the fourth generation of the family to sling pizzas with crispy crust, Romano cheese and crumbled hamburger.
It’s been a long time coming. For years, the Vacantis, 67 and 38, have heard from customers, developers and others who offered to invest in La Casa or franchise it.
Their answer was always the same: No, thanks.
“If we’re gonna do it, we’re gonna do it ourselves,” Vacanti Sr. said.
The new La Casa will be just like the others: the same pizza, the same pasta, the same recipes.
The menu hasn’t been finalized, but it will be a smaller menu, like the Grover location, with a few more items added. Similar to the 84th and Grover location, customers will order at a counter and seat themselves.
The restaurant will be able to seat nearly 120 diners inside, more than double the Grover location. It will have a patio for outdoor seating for about 50, as well as a lounge area with bar seating and a retail space.
Part of the dining area will be a party room with TVs with space for about 50. It can be used for business meetings, parties and, of course, watching Husker football games.
Mostly, they just want it to feel like the La Casa everyone knows and loves.
“Our restaurant is part of the city, part of the fabric of Omaha,” Vacanti Sr. said. “It’s a tradition in Omaha. We want to still be part of the city and take care of the employees and our customers.”
The new location will be right off 168th Street as part of the Pacific Springs Vista development. The Vacantis chose the site for its accessibility.
The Vacantis are excited for it to finally be here. It was nearly a two-year process to find real estate for the new location and work with architects, lawyers and the city to design and approve the plans.
Joe and Nellie Patane opened La Casa more than 65 years ago, and its two locations are now owned and operated by their grandchildren.
Vacanti Sr. operates the La Casa location at 8216 Grover St., and he also operates the original La Casa Pizzaria at 4432 Leavenworth St. alongside his cousins, Nicole Jesse, Danielle Emsick and Joel Hahn.
Omaha's best pizza: Sarah Baker Hansen lists 8 of the top pies
I have lots of favorite pizzas in Omaha; anyone who loves food knows that our city is a bit crazy for this particular food. I've seen people actually get into arguments over the merits of Mama's versus La Casa. (Full disclosure: I'm on Team La Casa.)
This is just a small selection of the pizza joints I've reviewed during the past few years, plus a link to one of the best, most comprehensive Food Prowls we ever conducted.
– Sarah Baker Hansen