Under New Ownership, Papa’s Italian Retains Beloved Elements and Adds New Touches

By Heather DeSousa

Nestled in the heart of downtown Prescott, Papa’s Italian has been a cherished community restaurant since 1991. Stepping inside, visitors are instantly transported to the Italian countryside, surrounded by walls embellished with beautiful murals, cozy seating tailored for families of all sizes, and traditional Italian aromas filling the air.

The handing over of the ladle—from Mama Donna Bobadilla, Andrea Barattini, and Gregory Swigut to the new owners, Vanessa and Jason Perkins—felt similar to perfecting an Italian recipe, with months of practice to ensure the sauce remains just right. With extensive backgrounds in both culinary and hospitality, Vanessa and Jason had dreams of owning a restaurant since their arrival in Prescott. They feel very fortunate to have met the owners of Papa’s Italian and made the leap.

Since taking ownership in the spring of 2023, Jason has undergone intensive training under Mama to maintain the consistency of the menu’s beloved recipes while introducing a few new specials. Some favorites from their menu include manicotti, shrimp fra di avolo, and meat lasagna. Papa’s Italian is also proud to cater to diverse dietary preferences, offering gluten-free and vegetarian options to provide the perfect meal for every customer.

“When you’re here, you’re family” is a common slogan used by many Italian restaurants, but none quite feel more accurate than when you’re at Papa’s Italian.

Papa’s Italian has always been a second home to its employees, evolving into a true family. Several team members have dedicated more than a decade, with some exceeding fifteen years of service. Therefore, when Vanessa and Jason contemplated raising their family while managing the restaurant, it was never in doubt; they knew this would be the perfect fit. They even worked with Mama, Papa, and Andrea to ensure uninterrupted operations and retain staff during the transition. While the original owners are now enjoying retirement, Mama visits the restaurant weekly, saying hello to customers and staff.

Serving dinner Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Papa’s Italian provides a perfect work-life balance for its staff and ample time for family life.

The restaurant offers an intimate setting for date nights, family dinners, birthday parties, wedding receptions, and special occasions. Voted the “Best Happy Hour in Prescott,” Papa’s also features weekday specials, including dinner for two.

For the latest offerings, visit https://papasitalianrestaurant.com/specials/. To reserve a memorable night at Papa’s Italian and indulge in the essence of authentic Italian cuisine, call 928.776.4880.