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Gino of Gino’s Italian Ristorante dies

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Gino Vuolo, owner of Gino’s Italian Ristorante died today, the restaurant announced.

Vuolo was born in Naples, Italy, growing up in a family that put its emphasis on Italian cuisine. His grandmother Immacolata opened a restaurant in 1906, which became a family affair. Vuolo, 60, first came to the US at age two years old, when his father opened a restaurant in the Empire State Building in New York. He lived in NYC for 20 years, before moving home to Naples.

He worked in the family’s original restaurant and honed his skills through work and on-the-job training.

“We never really had culinary training,” Vuolo told the Boise Weekly in 2012. “You learned that as a kid. You start on prep and dishes and then move up.”

From Naples to Boise

One day, a Boise woman in Italy visiting her brother came into the Vuolo family restaurant. Her life – and Gino’s – both changed that day. Gino and Tia Vuolo eventually got married, had two children – and moved back to the Treasure Valley in 1993.

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In 1996, the first Gino’s Italian Ristorante opened in Downtown Boise, offering up authentic Italian meals to downtown crowds in the 1990s and 2000s. Eventually, a second location opened in Meridian – and is still open today.

“Gino and Tia have poured their heart and soul, not only into their restaurant, but into the community that has loved and help support us over all these years,” Gino’s staff wrote on Facebook announcing his death. “Collectively, we are heartbroken but thankful to have gotten spend so much time with Gino, Tia, and their family for so many years. Thank you all for your continued love and support at this time. We love you Gino, you are already so so missed.”

In that 2012 profile, Gino outlined his approach to business – and dining.

“My main thing is to take care of people and make them happy,” he said. “It’s not the buck. You need that to survive, but I think if your customers are happy, then everything else will fall into place.”

Gino’s is closed today, but plans to reopen on Wednesday January 19th.

Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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