Gino Foggia, the driving force behind Gino's and Gino's West Glen, recently decided to retire at the age of 81. Sadly, it appears that his two restaurants are following him into that retirement.
Gino's has been feeding Des Moines for close to fifty years, even longer if you go back to its days as The Chickadee. Foggia, who bought the Chickadee in 1966, had seen long-lasting success and critical acclaim for decades, but in late December he announced that Gino's flagship location at 2809 6th Avenue in Des Moines would close. He stated that he wanted to spend more time with family, and that there would be an increased focus on the West Glen location and the Gino's product line from his family, who managed those facets of the business.
However, earlier this week, Gino's West Glen also closed its doors, citing the size of the restaurant and a poor economy as contributing factors. Gino's West Glen will be just another in a long line of restaurants to open and close quickly in that location at 5513 Mills Civic Parkway in West Des Moines. Ciao, Crave, and Graze all floundered at that same location in recent years. Gino's West Glen outlasted all three of those restaurants, staying in the spot for nearly two-and-a-half years. It is an unfortunate and sudden ending to a wonderful legacy that Gino Foggia had established in Des Moines. Gino and his restaurants hold a lot of fond memories for Des Moines diners, and both will be sorely missed.