Jack Massa says he cannot walk into the Town & Country location of his Massa’s, Of Course! restaurants without thinking of his brother Bill, who was the one behind the restaurant’s signature look, which includes plenty of sparkling chandeliers. Jack recalls that when they were building the Town & Country location, “there were so many chandeliers I thought they were sending me pictures of Metro Lighting’s showroom.”
Jack misses his brother, who passed away in December 2020. The duo opened their first location Massa’s Old Place at 4120 N. Lindbergh in 1974. Today, diners who love great Italian food, including perfect St. Louis-style pizza, alongside wings, burgers and beef tenderloin have five locations from which to choose: Ballwin, Town & Country, the Old Place, Winghaven and New Town.
Not every location has exactly the same menu – or the same vibe – but that just gives customers good reason to try them all.
“Each place has its own personality. While the menus may be a little different, the food is the same. At Winghaven and New Town they have more sandwiches and appetizers. And they have entertainment with DJs and small bands,” Jack said. “New Town is also the only location with Sunday hours.”
Winghaven has a lakeside patio that spring through fall is the place to be for lunch or dinner in St. Charles County, especially during happy hour, which runs from 3-6 p.m. at every location. Favorite appetizers include signature dishes, such as Blue Mussels swimming in a garlic, white wine and clam sauce and the Seafood Stuffed Portabella, brimming with a medley of clams, shrimp, scallops and cheeses.
Jack also recommends the Tutta Mare – linguine with sea clams, shrimp, scallops, mussels, fresh mushrooms and tomatoes in a rich cream sauce. Or if you like a little heat, try the Cajun Pasta, which features Cajun Pasta shrimp and chicken in a spicy cream sauce over penne noodles.
“I love our Tortellini but I add a little cajun sauce,” Jack said. “It’s wonderful. It’s not on the menu that way but you can ask the chef to fix it like that for you.”
Keeping customers happy has been a hallmark of Massa’s for nearly 50 years. “Can you believe that?” Jack asks. “That’s incredible.”
Now, a second generation is playing an integral role in the company.
“My son Tony runs between Winghaven and Town & Country, and my daughter Tammy is our bookkeeper. My daughter Kim used to work for the restaurant as well, and I have a grandson who is chomping at the bit to come work for us. He’s still too young,” Jack explained.
Everybody wants to hang out at Massa’s, Of Course!
“One of the best parts about being in the restaurant business is that you meet people and you get to be friends. That’s how it is with our customers,” Jack said.
That statement is also true for Massa’s employees, many of whom have been with the company for decades.
“We have great cooks,” Jack said. “Everybody says that but they really are. And our managers and restaurant staff, they’re the best. It’s why customers become regulars and keep coming back.”
Well, that and the fact they can’t get some of Massa’s famed dishes anywhere else. One such example is the restaurant’s famous Pepe Sauce that, according to Jack, “has at least 30 ingredients in it.” Its complexity not only gives it a rich, lick-the-plate deliciousness, it also helps to keep the customer favorite a well-kept secret.
Some things you just have to try for yourself. So grab your friends, or family and head to Massa’s. You’ll be welcomed with great food and friendly service because it’s Massa’s, Of Course!