With two locations, one on Grand River Avenue, and one on Charles Street, Georgio’s Gourmet Pizza has been serving slices for over two decades in East Lansing. Two years ago, the pizza place’s Grand River location was closed and fenced off at its previous location at 1010 East Grand River Avenue (just east of Bogue Street). This coming Tuesday, August 4 marks their grand reopening at the new location, 918 East Grand River, in the ten-story building, the Hub.
One of Georgio’s owners, Vackis Nicolaou, spoke about unforeseen delays in their timeline of rebuilding and reopening. “When the building was rebuilt, we were planning to open last March. But because of COVID-19, two days before we were planning to open, the city of East Lansing had mandated that businesses [should] not have their dining rooms open.”
The delay came on the heels of many small businesses struggling to keep their doors open, including the restaurant’s other location, at 120 Charles Street. Due to the pandemic, they temporarily closed that location in April and are hoping to reopen at the end of August. That location did receive a $2,500 grant from East Lansing’s Downtown Development Authority.
The family-owned and operated restaurant boasts to use only fresh ingredients on homemade (never frozen) dough, fresh sauce, and 100% real cheese. Popular menu items include the baked potato bacon pizza, the black bean pizza, gyro pizza, stuffed meat lovers pizza, spicy chicken pesto pizza, and the bbq chicken bacon pizza. Pizza is available by the slice and whole pies and grinders, gyros, calzones, salads and desserts round out the menu.
With the reopening also comes a new regular menu item. “We actually added a breakfast pizza with an egg, potato, bacon, and cheese of course. That one we were doing on special periodically, which became popular enough to go on the menu,” Nicolaou said.
The new 2,000 square foot space is a bit bigger than the previous location which was 1800 square feet. Nicolaou also said the interior design differs. “The new look is industrial, we have unfinished concrete floors, exposed columns and exposed ceilings 25 feet tall. It’s a totally new look.”
There is street-level parking, with 17 customer spots provided in the parking ramp directly behind the building. For now, the 71-seat dining room will remain operating at the required 50% capacity. Delivery options include delivery.com, Doordash, UBER eats, and Grubhub.
Despite an expected reduction in the number of students returning to campus, Georgio’s owners are excited to return to business, offering online ordering and curbside pickup. Temporary hours for the month of August are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. Come September, the restaurant is hoping to expand hours to 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
“We are looking forward to opening, and making some of our delicious pizza available to the East Lansing residents,” Nicolaou said.
Correction: Article has been corrected to reflect Tuesday, August 4 as the opening date not Monday August 3.