SALENA ZITO: Sunday supper: The American tradition that cuts across cultures.

Mikesell, the father of three children and owner of a Strip District cafe, found he was tired of making those same excuses and hearing them from other people, so he decided to bring back the Sunday supper.

“With all this stuff that’s going on in the world and the breakdown of the family, I wanted to be part of something that brought that kind of traditional value back for people who either have lost their family to other parts of the country or to age, or to people who moved here and want that sense of belonging,” he said.

Like his grandmother and mother before him, cooking gives Mikesell an euphoric joy. “It is a true sense of purpose, I am creating and adding and making a mess and sharing with people the thing I do best: cook. There is something about people uniting over a heaping bowl of ricotta balls and pasta that is joyful, and I get to be part of it and in turn other people get to be part of it,” he said.

Several months ago, he decided to make a Sunday supper. He set a large table, cooked an overabundance of food (five courses), and said a little prayer hoping people would come. He did not use social media or an evite or any modern tools of communication. Like the old neighborhood he grew up where a story could pass from one porch to another faster than any text, he just told a handful of people and waited.

He had no idea if anyone would come.

“I set that table for 40 people, cooked for 80 …” he joked.

“By 5 p.m. I was glad I cooked for 80, because that is almost how many people came.”

That’s delightful.