ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A month after the murder of the owner of Giovanni’s, the pizzeria on San Pedro near Kathryn, could be reopening soon. Flowers and handwritten letters from people expressing their condolences for Rosario Zito and their love for Giovanni’s still adorn the restaurant. Now there is talks of a possible reopening next month. “Giovanni’s been here for 30 years, everybody knows Giovanni’s, the best pizza in Albuquerque,” says Greg Stier, the plaza landlord.
Rosario Zito was the owner of Giovanni’s Pizzeria. According to police, he was shot and killed during a robbery outside the famous pizza shop after closing time.
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The shop has been closed since that night in late August, leaving customers wondering if it would be permanent. Now family and staff tell News 13 that plans are in the works to re-open the pizzeria and continue Zito’s legacy.
Staff say he was more than just a boss to them. “I never grew up with a father, he’s my father figure. I trusted him, I loved him, he took care of me,” says Tomeeko Morgan, Giovanni’s Pizzeria cook. But some say it’ll still be hard without Zito around. “Just not being able to see him walk in the door and like always happy and uplifting spirit, that’s gonna be different, but I mean once you walk in the door you still pretty much feel his presence,” says Benina Gonzalez, Giovanni’s Pizzeria cook.
Zito’s death left the community shaken. Now a sign posted on the door says the pizzeria could open next week. Customers say they’ll be ready to support Zito’s family and the workers here when the doors do open again. “Great food, we ate here a lot, and you hate to see kind of an institution like this go away. So, so we’re sad that it happened, but we hope very much she’s able, that the family is able to carry on,” says Steven Woodall, a loyal customer.
News 13 reached out the Rosario Zito’s niece to ask about the official opening. She said that October 6 is not a definitive date and could change. Staff and family say right now they’re focusing on getting the restaurant ready again and restocking. The landlord also told News 13 that they’ve increased security measures at the shopping plaza.