The name has been stripped from a previously popular restaurant in The Villages.
Giovanni’s Ristorante & Pizzeria at Southern Trace Plaza for many years was a favorite destination for Italian cuisine here in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
The family that ran the restaurant sold the the eatery last year. It appeared the new owners did not have the same magic touch and customers noticed the change. A health inspector paid a visit to the restaurant on Ash Wednesday and ordered it to close after discovering problems with food temperature, roaches and a troubling lack of employee hygiene, according to the inspection report on file with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The restaurant was allowed to reopen, but the public relations damage was done.
Now the windows have been papered over at the restaurant. A piece of yellow legal pad paper has been taped to the front door with the single word explanation, “Closed.” The name “Giovanni’s” has been removed from the front of the building.
Roberto Manco, who worked for many years as a chef at his brother Giovanni’s restaurant, in 2019 went out on his own and operated Roberto’s Ristorante and Pizzeria. Meanwhile his brother continues to operate Gio’s Deli at the corner of County Road 466 and U.S. 301. Those restaurants appear to be doing well with many loyal, satisfied customers.