James Joseph Culcasi - 1933 & Rosine Louise Costanza Culcasi - 1939

James Joseph Culcasi - BARBER, RESTAURATEUR

Rosine Louise Costanza Culcasi - BUSINESSWOMAN, RESTAURATEUR, BAKER

WRITTEN BY CHRISTOPHER CULCASI

Jim and Rosine Culcasi
Jim and Rosine Culcasi

James Joseph Culcasi was born in Pittsburg, California, to Salvatore and Antonina (Trezza) Culcasi on May 10, 1933. Rosine Louise Costanza was born in Antioch, California to Horace and Mary (Russo) Costanza on January 16, 1939. Despite their different circumstances of birth, they share a similar heritage--their families hail from the Sicilian towns of San Vito Lo Capo, Isola delle Femmine, Palermo, and Capaci.


Jim and Rosine attended Pittsburg High School, but their paths would not cross until later. After high-school graduation, Jim enlisted in the army in 1952 and was stationed at Fort Ord--his first introduction to the Central Coast. He served for three years; after an honorable discharge in 1955, Jim traveled across the country, spending time in both New Orleans and Reno. Rosine, meanwhile, attended Diablo Junior College in Concord, eventually working at Look magazine in San Francisco.


Jim’s parents: Salvatore and Antonina (Trezza) Culcasi.
Jim’s parents: Salvatore and Antonina (Trezza) Culcasi.


Rosine’s parents: Horace and Mary (Russo) Costanza.
Rosine’s parents: Horace and Mary (Russo) Costanza.


















Jim and Rosine’s wedding at Carmel Mission Basilica, February 7, 1959.
Jim and Rosine’s wedding at Carmel Mission Basilica, February 7, 1959.

It's fitting that it was an act of love that brought these two together: Jim and Rosine met at a wedding in Pittsburg in May of 1958. He was the best man, and she was the maid of honor. They quickly fell in love and were engaged by August. They married on February 7, 1959, at the Carmel Mission Basilica and loved the surrounding area so much they spent their honeymoon there.

As husband and wife, Jim and Rosine had grand aspirations for success. They moved to San Francisco, where Jim studied to be a barber and Rosine worked at the business office for Bank of America. Eventually they moved back to Pittsburg, where they had their first child, Annette.


A second pregnancy prompted the couple to move to Monterey, a town they were already familiar with. Their daughter Renee was born soon after, followed by the births of James and Stephen, their two sons. Jim Sr. had his own barber shop where he worked, while Rosine baked at Eskaton Hospital.


Jim and Rosine’s children: (from top left to right) Stephen, James, Annette Culcasi-Ivers, and Renee M. Davi.
Jim and Rosine’s children: (from top left to right) Stephen, James, Annette Culcasi-Ivers, and Renee M. Davi.

Despite having different career paths up to this point, Jim and Rosine agreed that they shared a love for cooking and serving the community. After much discussion, they began planning to open a restaurant.


Rosine's opened its doors at the Del Monte Shopping Center in 1980. With its homemade recipes and focus on quality, the Italian-influenced American cuisine was an instant hit with the locals. It was a family affair from the start. While Rosine would make her soups and pies and Jim would greet and seat customers at the front, their children helped with the day-to-day operations. In later years, Jim Jr. and Annette would take over management of the restaurant, while Renee penned a cookbook featuring their most popular recipes.


When Jim and Rosine first opened Rosine's in 1981, they contributed to the Loaves Fishes & Computers non-profit organization by feeding the homeless every first Sunday of the month. They provided lunches and desserts to the Gathering Place for Women once every month and continue to donate to this organization today. In the past they have contributed to the non-profit organization I-HELP by providing meals for the homeless at Carmel Mission and at St. Angela Merici Catholic Church in Pacific Grove. They have made several contributions to Meals on Wheels over the years.


In the 1980s Rosine's Restaurant opened its doors on Thanksgiving Day and provided free meals for the homeless community. In 2020 Rosine's made its first contribution to KSBW's annual Share Your Holiday event, donating a large amount of sandwiches for the homeless. They have made several contributions to Meals on Wheels over the years.


In 1986 Rosine’s Restaurant moved to a new location on Alvarado Street, where it became a staple of downtown Monterey. Now in its third generation of management, locals consistently rank Rosine's as Best Family Restaurant, and it remains a favorite among the populace. Jim and Rosine have since retired, their aspirations of success firmly achieved. They were fortunate enough to become proud grandparents to seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren.


Today, Jim can be found taking a walk on the streets of Monterey, soaking up the beauty of a city that has given him so much and striking up conversations with friends both young and old. He is very proud of his Sicilian heritage and will gladly


Jim and Rosine's family; (from top left to right) Alexandra Davi-Pangburn, Anthony Davi, Renee M. Davi, Robert Ivers, Annette Culcasi-Ivers, Jim Culcasi Sr., Susan Culcasi, Jim Culcasi Jr., Antonino Davi II, Alissa Davi-Murphy, Kyle Ivers, Stephen Culcasi, Rosine Culcasi, Michael Culcasi, Christopher Culcasi, Jonathan Culcasi.
Jim and Rosine's family; (from top left to right) Alexandra Davi-Pangburn, Anthony Davi, Renee M. Davi, Robert Ivers, Annette Culcasi-Ivers, Jim Culcasi Sr., Susan Culcasi, Jim Culcasi Jr., Antonino Davi II, Alissa Davi-Murphy, Kyle Ivers, Stephen Culcasi, Rosine Culcasi, Michael Culcasi, Christopher Culcasi, Jonathan Culcasi.

Jim and Rosine’s great grandchildren with daughter Renee M.Davi (center), (from top left to right) Cordella Murphy, Luca Davi, Jordaan Bella Rose Davi, Olivia Mae Davi.
Jim and Rosine’s great grandchildren with daughter Renee M. Davi (center), (from top left to right) Cordella Murphy, Luca Davi, Jordaan Bella Rose Davi, Olivia Mae Davi.

tell the stories of his family's adventures to anyone who will list