Giovanna's relocation provides new decor, same tasty Italian fare

One of Geneseo’s most popular Italian restaurants has moved and expanded. GioVanna’s Pizza and Pasta formally opened its new location in the Bargain Outlet plaza on Lakeville Road on March 29, moving from its previous location near Wegmans in the Genesee Valley Plaza. With more room and fresh, contemporary décor, GioVanna’s owners Jennifer and John Pontillo are enthusiastic about the opportunities the move will bring. Able to seat 12 in its prior location, GioVanna’s can now provide seating for up to 100 people. It maintains a counter for walk-in orders and takeout pickup, but there is now the addition of a separate, adjacent dining room of both tables and booths with a more relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant also now includes a bar, wood fire grill and wood fire pizza oven in addition to its regular pizza oven.

“We’re hoping to receive our liquor license in about five weeks,” John Pontillo said. “We’ll have a full bar—beer, wine and liquor.” While they’re not looking for the eatery to become a rowdy late-night drinking spot, he and Jennifer Pontillo are excited at the prospect of the bar beverages complementing customers’ meals and imagine it will create increased appeal for GioVanna’s.

With an already extensive menu—including various appetizers, pizza, specialty pizzas, pasta, calzones, cold subs, hot subs, wraps, wings, salads and desserts—Jennifer and John Pontillo anticipate broadening the restaurant’s scope even more. Now that they have more kitchen room as well as the new wood fire grill and pizza oven, they foresee amplifying the Italian dinners they offer.

Before launching business in the new location, the Pontillos ensured all necessary construction was complete—for both functionality and aesthetic success.

“We took it right down to the skeleton—as we like to call it. There was nothing leftover from the previous restaurant except some concrete wall,” John Pontillo said. “Everything else in this building is brand new.”

The additional room and boosted capacity was one of the primary reasons for the move. Other benefits include increased parking and the new, chic interior. Jennifer and John Pontillo have received positive feedback on the style transformation.

“It’s a nicer place—more modern, maybe more attractive to younger people, as well as older people and families looking for a calmer environment,” John Pontillo said.

GioVanna’s values both student clientele—campus cash is accepted there—and business from the community at large. Since its switch, GioVanna’s has not experienced any difficulty with customers finding its new location. It seems the decision to move was both practical and beneficial, facilitating positive business progression.

“It came out well and we’re happy with it and its more modern feel,” John Pontillo said. “We’re very proud of our new place.”