Tony’s Steaks and Seafood of Indianapolis Resumes Its Support of the Carmel Community

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June 2021

As many of our readers may recall, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tony’s Steaks and Seafood of Indianapolis partnered with the Carmel Clay Public Library (CCPL) Foundation, Carmel Travel Company and Carmel Monthly and hosted a series of themed wine-pairing dinners at their gorgeous downtown Indianapolis location—once a quarter—with the sole purpose of supporting the digest of nearly 2,000 free programs that are offered by CCPL, which the CCPL Foundation supports.

Tony’s of Indianapolis CCPL

A Renewed Commitment to Community

Like all of its neighboring businesses, Tony’s Steaks and Seafood of Indianapolis was impacted by the pandemic closures and suffered significant exterior damage by rioters at its Indianapolis location last May. The extent of the damage forced Tony Ricci, proprietor of Tony’s Steaks and Seafood, to further delay the reopening of his restaruant.

Now, several months later, Ricci and his resilient staff are proud to be reinstating their community outreach efforts and are resuming their wine-pairing dinners on behalf of the CCPL Foundation.

The previous dinners of this quarterly series were sellouts and an astounding success for the CCPL Foundation. Ricci donates the cost, including food, wine and venue, so that the foundation retains all of the proceeds generated from these dinners.

Ricci shared with us that his family moved from Italy to Toronto, Canada, and from Toronto to Cincinnati, Ohio, in the ’70s. As a young immigrant who did not speak English, Ricci did not have access to the types of support systems that exist today, which is why he passionately supports institutions such as libraries.

“I had to use a library in order to learn English,” Ricci said. “I had to be in the library and study longer than my friends because I didn’t understand the language. There was a library right across from my school, and I spent a great amount of time there throughout my youth.”

Throughout this pandemic, CCPL has been finding innovative ways to reach its cardholders and members of the community where they were. Several programs were reinvented, and new ones were launched to assist students of all ages with remote learning and to best serve the needs of the Carmel community in whatever ways they’ve been affected by the pandemic and its dastardly ripple effects.

Programming and resources such as those offered by CCPL are made possible through the generosity of its donors and supporters like Ricci and his staff.

Tony’s of Indianapolis CCPL

“We’ve all been impacted by the pandemic,” Ricci expressed. “We’re all going to find a way to get through this, but we have to do it together. We’ve all had setbacks, and I want to assist and reconnect with the organizations and institutions that I’ve supported and that are important to me. I think part of [living] life is being involved in something that’s a hell of a lot bigger than you.”

An Invaluable Asset to the Carmel Community

CCPL Foundation Director Elizabeth Hamilton shared, “Tony and his staff have been such incredible support to Carmel Clay Public Library Foundation. His generosity has allowed the foundation to continue to support the nearly 2,000 free programs the library offers to the community annually.”

Hamilton went on to express how the library not only provided resources for folks who found themselves between a rock and a hard place throughout the pandemic, but it also provides respite for those who need an escape from their confinement.

“One thing that everybody suffered during the COVID-19 [shut-in] was a lack of human contact,” Hamilton stated. “One of things that reading books can do is transport you to another place and be that escape when you can’t escape your four walls. We know from looking at the statistics what has happened to people’s mental health during this [pandemic], and it has been devastating.”

Hamilton continued, “If the library can offer a safety net and respite for people and be there somehow to help them deal with things, that’s pretty incredible to me. And when you meet somebody like Tony [Ricci], and think about how personally his business was affected, and yet he’s saying that we’re all in this together and is moving forward to continue to help make our community stronger, I think that’s amazing. Tony is providing us [the foundation] much more than an opportunity to raise some money for the library. He is giving us the opportunity to have like-minded people come together and talk about the benefits of supporting each other and building up our community as a whole.”

To request more information and/or to reserve your seats for the next Tasting at Tony’s of Indianapolis Benefiting the Carmel Clay Public Library Foundation on July 20, 2021, please email Elizabeth Hamilton at [email protected].

For more information about or to make reservations to dine with your family or friends at Tony’s at Indianapolis, visit