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Craig McEwen, Published October 15 2009

Food for the family: Moorhead's Gio's serves up pizza, other favorites

A mother and daughter team have converted a 1970s Moorhead business establishment into a bar, grill and event center.

The 9,000-square-foot complex at 123 21st St. S. is called Gio’s Grill and Bar and Eastgate Event Center.

The business site opened in 1973 as East Gate Center, adding the former East Gate Bar and Lounge the following year.

Gio’s has been around since 2001 when Carol Pettengill bought Giovanni’s Pizza locations in the Moorhead Center Mall and at 1414 33rd St. S. in Fargo and renamed the business.

Her daughter, Becky Davis, is manager of the business.

Gio’s Pizzeria moved to the Moorhead AmericInn Lodge and Suites, 600 30th Ave. S., in 2006.

On Oct. 1, 2008, Gio’s moved to its current location. “We opened up as Gio’s Grill and Bar” after receiving a full alcohol license, Pettengill said.

The following month, they opened the Eastgate Event Center, which hosts wedding receptions, socials, meetings, product shows, auctions and other gatherings.

The restaurant and event center seat 480 people. All ages of customers are welcome, Davis said. “We want families to come in. That’s what I bill myself as is a family restaurant.”

The event center has a full-service bar and offers an on-site disc jockey, UFC pay-for-view fight broadcasts once a month and free Texas hold ’em poker on Thursday nights.

“We’re going to start doing live bands,” Davis said.

Pettengill said the establishment has been totally remodeled, including the installation of two full-service kitchens.

There is a full menu that includes appetizers, soups and salads, spaghetti, fettuccine, chicken, shrimp, burgers, sandwiches, specialty pizzas and desserts, she said.

The restaurant also offers an “all-you-can-eat” pizza, soup and salad bar from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Restaurant hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

“If we have a band or something in here, we will stay open and serve food,” Pettengill said.

Sunday hours are 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Delivery service is available in Moorhead, Dilworth and Fargo.

The business employs 20 to 25 full- and part-time workers. “We’re always looking for more,” Pettengill said.

To contact Gio’s call (218) 233-2883 or log online to www.giosgrillandbar.com

Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502