The Frugalista Life

Living my best frugal life.

Palm Harbor’s Giovanni’s Fresh Italian Kitchen is one big, happy family

It isn’t too often you find a restaurant solely by one family. When I met up with the DeLisa family a couple weeks ago, I could tell they were on to something different. They aren’t new to family-ran restaurants either. From 2007-2010, they ran 2 locations of their previous eatery My 7 Kids in Palm Harbor and Oldsmar. Now they’re back with their latest restaurant, Giovanni’s Fresh Italian Kitchen.

The idea behind the restaurant is “Italian classics with a twist”. That means faves like entrees, various pastas, and desserts aren’t like how you’re used to eating them at Granny’s. I’m excited for the DeLisa family and for Giovanni’s Fresh Italian Kitchen to finally open.

Here’s an excerpt from my latest Creative Loafing article:

“Family-owned restaurants seem to be getting harder and harder to come by. Yet that hasn’t stopped John and Rita DeLisa from opening their own — again.

In early 2019, the married couple and their son, Thomas, will bring Giovanni’s Fresh Italian Kitchen to Palm Harbor, which isn’t unfamiliar territory for them.

Rita and John previously ran two locations for their late Italian eatery, My 7 Kids, in Palm Harbor and Oldsmar from 2007 to 2010. During this time, the recession caused them to close both sites, but their regulars kept asking when they’d launch a new venture.

Luckily, John never lost his passion for the business and another restaurant was always part of the plan. He just needed to find the right location.

“After we closed down, John and I went to work because we had seven kids who were still in school. It was a rough couple of years, but we’re doing it again,” Rita said. “I’m staying at my full-time job for now.”

According to managing partner John, Giovanni’s is a family affair.

“I wanted all my family to work with me and provide a friendly family atmosphere with upscale food,” he said.”

To learn more about Giovanni’s, click here to read the rest of the DeLisa’s story. Where’s your favorite Italian restaurant located? What dish do you order each time?

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