Nearly three decades after restaurateur Joe Accurso took over the old Main Street Deli at 5044 Main and transformed it into a popular neighborhood Italian restaurant, he's getting out of the day-to-day restaurant operation. Accurso, who opened his current restaurant at 4980 Main in 2009, sold the restaurant to his cousins on July 1.
Craig Accurso -- senior vice president of Lee's Summit-based American Food Service, which is owned by this branch of the Accurso family -- and his son Anthony took over ownership of the venue at the beginning of the month but have only just started making cosmetic changes to the interior. Customers stepping into the south Plaza restaurant on Monday will see a new shade of paint in the dining area called the Wine Room. The main dining room will be painted a new shade next week, and the Accurso family photographs will be moved from two interior walls to different areas around the dining room.
"Craig and Anthony came to me," Joe Accurso says. "I had no plans to sell the restaurant. They first wanted to start franchising the Accurso's concept but then decided to buy the restaurant. It was a difficult decision, but I'd like to spend more time with my family. I was 23 years old when my sister and I started the Main Street Deli. Now I'm 50 years old, and I have a 5-year-old daughter."
Joe Accurso will continue to serve as a consultant for Accurso's Italian Restaurant for the next three months, then he plans to start focusing on his catering business, which he plans to re-name this month.
"I'm hoping that Craig and Anthony will continue some of the traditions that I started in this restaurant," Joe Accurso says. "We've built a very loyal following."
Some of those traditions have been Joe's house-made Italian sausage and the cheesecake that his mother, Mary, has been baking for the restaurant for years.