Ignacio Bautista is the owner of Gio’s, a casual Italian café and deli in Bridgeport known for their Sicilian dishes. Gio’s opened in 2001 after Ignacio and his now-retired business partner, Giovanni Liuzzo, alongside chef Victor Quezada, decided to take their combined four decades of Italian restaurant experience and open one of their own. Since opening, the restaurant has grown from four to sixteen tables and become a favorite for neighborhood locals and suburbanites alike.
The kitchen of St. Ailbe’s Catholic Church, located in Calumet Heights, was filled on the evening of April 5, with people and smells. It smelled good, like something frying.
When Jimmy Li first moved to Bridgeport in 1984, he was one of the few Asian immigrants to live in the neighborhood. Over seventy-six percent of residents at the time were white, twenty percent identified as Hispanic or Latino, and less than one percent were African-American. The Asian population was all but unaccounted for by authorities until the 1990 census, which reported that they constituted 16 percent of the population.