Founder of beloved Raleigh Italian restaurant dies
Posted October 20, 2021 4:09 p.m. EDT
Updated October 21, 2021 11:11 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — The founder of Amedeo's Italian restaurant on Western Boulevard has died, the restaurant announced via social media Wednesday.
Dick "Amedeo" DeAngelis came to North Carolina State University from Reading, Pa. in 1954 on a football scholarship. After missing his family's home-cooking, he decided to open a small restaurant featuring some of his mother's and grandmother's homemade Italian recipes.
Amedeo's opened in 1963 and has become a haven for Italian food lovers and N.C. State fans.
DeAngelis sold the restaurant prior to its 50th anniversary.
The restaurant said DeAngelis died Wednesday morning after several years of declining health. Funeral arrangements are pending.
"Whether it was a bus boy or the best-known N.C. State figure in Raleigh, Dick treated everyone who walked through the front doors of the restaurant with warmth and respect. His ability to touch the lives of people, from the Amedeo’s regular customer to his grandchildren, was immense. His genuinely kind spirit welcomed all people into his life, and his ability to crack a joke with anyone who was willing to listen made people feel connected to him," current owners wrote on the restaurant's Facebook page. "Amedeo’s will not be the same without its namesake, but his legend will live on through his loving family and those who come to love his food."
"While I never got to meet him, he's still a great and influential person," said Chloe Johnson, who works at the restaurant. "Obviously, we wouldn't have this without him."
"You just can't go to Walmart and get this stuff," Johnson added. "It comes from the heart. It comes to the soul."