Giordano’s owner optimistic about relocation

Although only about 100 yards separate the old and new locations of the Evanston Giordano’s, the negligible distance means a world of difference to store manager Dan Bruss.

He said it was “time to move on” and seek a “much more visible” home for the deep-dish pizzeria after 30 years at the corner of Davis Street and Hinman Avenue in downtown Evanston.

The new site at the corner of Davis Street and Chicago Avenue, which opened earlier this month, has resulted in “basically better exposure” and a recent burst of economic benefit, Bruss added.

“This new place has bumped it up,” he said. “It’s definitely increased my business just coming over here two weeks ago.”

The new property at 1527 Chicago Ave. contains a full-service pasta kitchen as well as expanded storage that allows Bruss’ staff to cook the entire Giordano’s menu. At the previous location, only a limited menu was served due to inadequate kitchen space.

The new location also offers an outdoor patio that adds a dozen more tables to total occupancy. Otherwise, both the new and former restaurants are comparable in terms of seating capacity and square footage, Bruss said.

He described his motivation behind the move as a simple matter of growing an already well-known staple of downtown dining.

“We obviously have been around for a long time,” Bruss said. “We’re established. So where do we go from here?”

Evanston resident Pat Horne, who lives in The Mather retirement home, said she’s been mostly satisfied with the answer to that question.

“The new location is a little farther, but it looks like a brighter and more attractive restaurant,” Horne said. “I think it’s a good location, since the one on Davis was hard to find for most people because it was a one-way street.”

Her husband Peter agreed the new spot has a higher community profile.

“From the outside, it now actually looks like a pizza place,” he said.

The new location on two-way Chicago Avenue enticed Evanston resident Lee Chenault to stop by and pick up some lunch on his commute from work on Wednesday.

“I stopped by because I was riding my bicycle home this way and got hungry,” Chenault said. “The new place had a very nice ambiance, and I would definitely come here with a larger party to have dinner.”

On campus, not everyone is aware that the pizza restaurant has moved one block west.

McCormick sophomore Andrew Boston was a peer adviser during Wildcat Welcome Week and had a group dinner with his freshmen advisees at Giordano’s.

“I headed down to their old spot at 500 Davis and upon arriving with my bike, I was quite frustrated to see that there was no Giordano’s there anymore,” Boston said. “But there was a sign on the window with big letters directing me to the new location, and I found the new place right on the next corner.”

Although the Chicago-based franchise filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year, Bruss said it remains a “non-factor” in his restaurant’s day-to-day business.

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