Gianna's Restaurant having early success

Body: 

It’s been less than a month, but the opening act for GIanna’s Sports Bar and Restaurant is off to a good start.

“We’ve gotten a good response,” said co-owner Anthony Belvedere, of the establishment located at 1847 County Highway T, east of New Richmond.

Belvedere was previously the Beverage Manager at St. Croix Casino in Turtle Lake and wanted a career change.

Opportunities for him to manage a bar/restaurant were presented to him in Stillwater and St. Paul along with possibilities in Hudson, Amery and Baldwin.

“My daughter (Gianna is her middle name, for which the bar is named after) goes to school in Clayton and I didn’t want to uproot her,” he said.

When the former Pizza Man building became available, Belvedere became immediately interested. With the St. Croix Crossing bridge opening up next year, he believes the northern side of New Richmond, where Gianna’s is located, is primed for growth. The building was theirs by late August and they opened up on Dec. 29.

One of the strengths of Gianna’s, Belvedere believes will be the Italian-themed menu, which will be created from scratch. The signature item, he thinks will be the meatballs.

“People will be amazed by the size of them,” he said.

Besides his experience at St. Croix Casino, he also worked for bar and grills and supper clubs in Turtle Lake, where he learned every aspect of the food industry including bartending, manager and chef.

“I want good food in a casual atmosphere,” he continued. “From the construction worker to a guy in a suit.”

Future plans include a family-style breakfast, expand the outdoor area for more parking and a volleyball court,   

Currently, the bar opens at 10 a.m. and the kitchen at 11 a.m. The kitchen closes at 10 p.m., while the bar will have regular hours.