Givanni’s owners say they may reopen in current space

Givanni's on the Ped Mall. -- photo by Alan Light
Givanni’s on the Ped Mall. — photo by Alan Light

Changes may be coming to Givanni’s. Rumors earlier this week suggested that the Italian-American Ped Mall mainstay may be closing or replaced by another restaurant altogether.

Though details are still in flux, Jason Alt, business manager at Etre Restaurant Group (which owns Givanni’s), confirms that a shakeup may be in the restaurant’s future. In an email sent to Little Village today, Alt wrote, “At this time we are exploring the possibility of potentially placing a new restaurant in the space currently occupied by Givanni’s, however no final decision has been made as to when and if that may occur.”

Known in part for its unique interior, Givanni’s occupies a building that dates to the late nineteenth century and was updated in the 1980s by a Chicago architectural firm. Opened by Iowa City restauranteur Jim Mondanaro (also of Mickey’s Irish Pub, Mondo’s Saloon, Joseph’s and Bread Garden Market), Givanni’s was sold in 2013 to the Etre Restaurant Group.

When the Etres acquired Givanni’s, Alt says, “They saw a lot of potential in the space.”

However, he acknowledges that the restaurant hasn’t seen many changes to the physical space in the last 30 years. Renovations, which are already underway in the restaurant, may amp up, he says. “There is the possibility that we may close for a short period of time for some remodeling projects that can not be completed while remaining open for business.”