Mario Valario is the new partner and co-owner* of in The Village, joining La Mesa-bred Gabriel Giordano. Valario will be in charge of daily operations and management, Giordano said, and will “fine-tune the experience and make it better.”
Valario assures Town Pulse that prices and portions will remain the same. In fact, he plans to restore old favorites to the menu.
But the live music schedule will go on a diet—with performances Friday or Saturday only, instead of throughout the week, Valario said. This is an effort to address noise complaints, he said.
But the new co-owner said he doesn’t know which day he’ll host a band.
“I want to be sensitive and understanding to La Mesa residents,” Valario said. “I want to get the type of music that would be in good taste to all age groups.”
To do that, he said he’ll reach out to all corners of San Diego County to find bands fit to play a Gio crowd. The restaurant also has been host to regular Brew Ha Ha comedy nights.
Addressing whispers that Gio had been shuttered, Valario said: “I did not close. ... I’m just here to fine-tune [things] and improve the menu, service and quality.”
With Valario comes new hours—now daily from 11 a.m. to around 9 p.m. with a 9 a.m. brunch Saturdays. Its website hasn’t been updated to reflect these changes, so you might find you have the restaurant to yourself for a little while.
For the past 16 years, Valario has been part owner of de’Medici in downtown San Diego. In February, he took on this new business and said he's been losing sleep (and weight) ever since. But, he adds, it’s all worth it because of the people he meets.
“The La Mesa residents are so well-mannered, so nice,” he said. “They reach out. It’s just incredible.”
IT’S A BUS, IT’S A TRAIN, IT’S TRAVEL SAN DIEGO: La Mesa’s Adult Enrichment Center is hosting Travel San Diego, a public transit training program for the disabled or for adults ages 60 years and up who want to plan for they when they can no longer drive. The nine-week class teaches how to plan out a trip, read the maps and route schedules and journey to places throughout La Mesa and beyond.
Program fees are $38 and include two unlimited-use monthly MTS passes. Pay an additional $5 for the Amtrak Coaster and $4.75 for the Coronado Ferry.
To register for classes or for more information, contact Judi Bonilla at 619-667-1322.
SPRING INTO CLEANING: If you’ve got junk, the city wants it. La Mesa will host two spring cleanup events free to residents (I.D. required). So pack up all those old appliances, pieces of furniture or even yard waste and drop it off at your local EDCO station, where the rest is history.
Drop-off time is 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 9 for residents living south of Interstate 8 and April 16 for residents north of the freeway. Free mulch will be available on limited basis to those who can haul it. This service is for residents only—not businesses, contractors or professional landscapers.
For more information, call 619-667-1338 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Editor’s note: An earlier version of the story incorrectly said Mario Valario was the new owner.