UPDATE: Gino’s opening date has been pushed back to Wednesday, March 28.
When Gino Rivera began considering a location for a second Gino’s Bistro restaurant, he thought of Maple Valley, his former hometown.
“I enjoyed the community, and I remembered it being really beautiful,” said Rivera, who lived briefly near the Elk Run Golf Course about 17 years ago.
Rivera plans to open the second Gino’s Bistro on Wednesday, March 28, at Four Corners in the former Shakey’s Pizza storefront. His original Federal Way location has been open for about 10 years.
Gino’s Bistro will seat 105 people and serve Italian and Mediterranean entrees. From the bread to soup to pasta sauce, everything on the menu is homemade, Rivera said.
Customers will be able to order martinis and wine at a bar that will seat 30. A private room can be reserved for up to 20 people.
Pizza will also be on the menu. Rivera says he is happy to offer pizza as a memory of Shakey’s, a 30-year Maple Valley institution that went out of business recently when the owner died.
“Even when I lived here — I remember — if you want to go for pizza, you go to Shakey’s,” he said.
Unlike Shakey’s, Gino’s will offer a more upscale menu and atmosphere, with bistro-style butcher paper on linen tablecloths.
Rivera, who has four children, stresses that kids are welcome. The bistro will offer takeout — including both pizza and family-style meals in microwaveable containers. Gino’s also will offer full-service catering.
Rivera, 40, who immigrated from Peru at 18, says he worked at several Italian restaurants in the region before opening the bistro in Federal Way. He will serve as the primary chef in Maple Valley until he can train a replacement.
Not just his fond memories of Maple Valley, but also construction of new housing developments and the Fred Meyer complex persuaded Rivera to locate here, he said.
“We are very excited to come into this neighborhood. It has a lot of potential.”