Giovanni Di Palma closes Gio’s Chicken Siciliana at Battery Atlanta in Cobb County. Antico Pizza remains open next door at the complex, which is also home to Braves Truist Park. Di Palma told the AJC Monday that the closure is due to the “uncertainty and delay of baseball,” coupled with the dining restrictions caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Di Palma plans to focus on building upon the success of Antico at the Battery and his “Little Italia” food village on Hemphill Avenue in Atlanta’s Home Park neighborhood, which includes locations of Antico, Gio’s Chicken, Caffe Antico gelateria, and Bar Amalfi. He expanded the food village in March with the opening of Gio’s Sicilian. The Sicilian pizzeria and slice shop opened for takeout and delivery in the back of Gio’s Chicken.
A Sandy Springs outpost of Antico was scrapped last September. Di Palma cited permitting issues with the north Atlanta-area city and budget concerns following the opening of Gio’s Chicken at the Battery earlier in the year.
“We signed at The Battery and opened Gio’s at that location quickly, which was unplanned. Therefore this location and project no longer fit our budget and timeline,” Di Palma told Eater Atlanta at the time. “With regret, the door is certainly not closed on Sandy Springs and we are keeping options open for the right opportunity.”
Several Atlanta restaurants have permanently closed since the health crisis began in March after suffering a devastating loss of revenue caused by dining room shutdowns and lack of rent relief from landlords.
Adding to the growing financial pressures already being felt by Atlanta restaurant and bar owners, some establishments are choosing to temporarily close after learning employees have tested positive for COVID-19.