Giorgio’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria will move into the building at 17380 Monterey Road. Photo: Google street view

Two restaurants with established, popular locations in the South Bay are getting ready to open new spots in downtown Morgan Hill, according to city officials.

One of the new restaurants—Giorgio’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria—will move into the empty building at the southeast corner of Monterey Road and Second Street that has sat unoccupied since it was built nearly three years ago. The 8,000-square-foot property—formerly the site of Royal Clothier—with a new outdoor patio is located at 17380 Monterey Road.

Just next door, at 17340 Monterey Road, Sushi Confidential is planning to open a new location, according to city staff. Sushi Confidential—popular for its sushi and Asian-influenced menu—currently has restaurants in Campbell and downtown San Jose. In Morgan Hill, they will open in the former location of Prova restaurant, which closed in 2020.

The owners of both Giorgio’s and Sushi Confidential recently signed leases with the respective property owners at both locations, according to a Sept. 1 announcement from city staff.

“Sushi Confidential is truly honored and excited to be a part of the Morgan Hill community,” said Randy Musterer, founder of Sushi Confidential. “We greatly appreciate the small-town feel and the strong sense of community. Our goal is to help continue to create an exceptional dining experience and add to the thriving group of downtown restaurants.”

He plans to open the Morgan Hill Sushi Confidential location by the end of this year.

Giorgio’s Italian Food is a family-owned business founded in 1959. The original location is located in the Foxworthy Shopping Center in San Jose. Today, the D’Ambrosio family who owns the chain has restaurants in San Jose and Milpitas.

They also own the restaurant Frankie, Johnnie & Luigi Too!, which is under construction in Mountain View, according to Morgan Hill city staff. And they own a new York-style sausage factory in Sunnyvale that is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. Their sausage products can be found in major retail food stores.

The family’s Morgan Hill location will be known as Giorgio’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria, and is projected to open in 2022, city staff said.

“The D’Ambrosio family has always admired Morgan Hill as a community and the downtown as one of the hidden gems in the Bay Area,” said co-owner Mike D’Ambrosio. “Additionally, we believe this will be a good location as many of our long-time customers and supporters have moved to South County. We look forward to becoming ingrained in the community, and the downtown.”

The site where Giorgio’s is moving in Morgan Hill has been mostly unoccupied since Royal Clothier moved across the street in 2015. The property was formerly owned by the city’s Redevelopment Agency, which was dissolved by the state in 2011.

Through the RDA dissolution process, developer Steve Pace purchased the property from the city in 2015 for $880,000. Pace’s contractors demolished the former structure and built the existing commercial building that is designed specifically for a restaurant with a spacious outdoor dining patio.

Construction of the 17380 Monterey Road building was completed by 2019, and Giorgio’s will be the site’s first occupant.

The two new restaurants will add to downtown Morgan Hill’s “burgeoning restaurant scene,” according to the city’s Economic Development Director, Matt Mahood. That scene includes Craft Roots, 17230 Monterey Road, which was named by Gotham magazine on Aug. 31 as one of the 19 best vegan restaurants in the U.S.

“Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, downtown Morgan Hill has been able to remain a thriving district with regional and national recognition for offering the best outdoor dining space in the Bay Area and having one of the best vegan restaurants in the nation,” Mahood said. “We are excited to add Sushi Confidential and Giorgio’s to our culinary offerings.”

With Prova closed, former owner Sal Calisi has been able to focus more of his efforts on Odeum, his first restaurant in downtown Morgan Hill on Depot Street. After Prova’s five-year lease ended last year, he decided he didn’t want to run a restaurant at that spot anymore due to the noisy atmosphere of Monterey Road and the shortage of space for outdoor dining. 

“I like being in the more quiet part of town,” said Calisi, whose Odeum restaurant has a large outdoor dining area at The Granary development. 

As a restaurateur, he added, “It’s great to be anywhere in Morgan Hill. I love the city, the community, and the support I’ve had from city staff.” 

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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