A strong sense of family and a desire for affordable dinner options inspired the Saliovski family to open Sicily’s Pizza & Pasta.

Artan Saliovski said his parents have been restaurateurs for over 30 years and opened Sicily’s in McKinney in April 1992.

“We’ve been in the restaurant business since I was 4 years old,” Saliovski said. “We’ve had restaurants since 1988. We opened this one up because we found a deal in a small city that we liked.”

The backstory

Saliovski said his parents are originally from Albania but met in New York in the 1970s after moving to the United States.

Saliovski’s uncle moved to Texas after visiting for a construction job. His father, Eddie Saliovski, followed shortly after.

“My uncle opened up a restaurant in Lewisville. ... When we showed up, he handed my dad the keys and said, ‘This is your restaurant,’” he said. “He went on to open up a restaurant in Flower Mound called Bari’s, which is still there.”

The first restaurant eventually failed, but they were able to open Sicily’s Pizza & Pasta in 1992, Saliovski said.

“We had a vision of affordable food, which is why we still haven't changed our prices, even during and after the [COVID-19 pandemic],” he said.

What’s special about it?

Saliovski said all of their bread and pizza dough is handmade fresh every morning.

“All of our sauces are homemade; they’re all secret recipes. Our house dressing is what we’re really known for,” he said. “We use about 800 pounds of flour a week making bread and dough for pizzas. We use about 500 pounds of tomatoes a week making sauces.”

Sicily's cheese is another staple, Saliovski said. Relatives of the Saliovski family own restaurants across North Texas, and they all get their blocks of cheese from the same supplier.

“We use about a quarter of a million pounds of mozzarella cheese a year,” he said. “[The supplier is] out of Wisconsin, and anybody who has a restaurant can't use our cheese because it's proprietary to us now.”

In addition, Saliovski said Sicily’s is BYOB with no corking fee.

“That's been our main staple, BYOB,” he said. “We make our bread daily; we make our dough daily; our chicken is cooked fresh. Nothing is prepared beforehand. We have no sauces on tap; everything is made to order.”

Quote of note

“The restaurant has a family environment,” Saliovski said. “I’m pretty much on a first-name basis with 80% of my customers.”