Standing room only at Mickey G’s

Mickey G's owner Michael Gucciardo

Michael Gucciardo opened his new Mickey G’s Italian Bistro and Pizzera in the middle of this week’s ice storm but that didn’t slow business with standing room only crowds at the new restaurant on 113 Parkview Rd (Next to the Floyd Fitness Center).

Crowds packed the new eatery for dinner Friday night and again at lunch on Saturday, sampling both the Italian delicacies on the menu along with pizza.

Mickey G’s marks the return of Gucciardo to the Floyd area. A native of Brookyn, Gucciardo was the chef and co-owner at The Pine Tavern Restaurant for several years. He also was chef at Nicos in Roanoke, Sals in Radford and other venues. He is well-known in the area.

The menu features reasonably-priced Italian dishes and pizza for eating in or take out. The menu is extensive and very Italian.

Those who have sampled the fare describe it in one word: “Great.”

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23 thoughts on “Standing room only at Mickey G’s”

  1. Just to clarify, Michael was co-owner of the Pine Tavern for around 15 years, closer to 1990 – 2004. After the Pine Tavern he worked at Sal’s in Radford, was co-owner of Nico’s in Roanoke and then he went to the place in Ironto…it’s name escapes me, until opening up Mickey G’s. Michael Gucciardo is a gifted chef. His food is authentic Italian and I can not praise his art enough! His new restaurant in Floyd is a real treat. Lovely, too.

    • To clarify Ms. Simione’s “clarification,” The Roanoke Times reported on May 12, 2004, that “(Swede) McBroom, along with his brother, John McBroom, and chef Michael Gucciardo bought the restaurant in 2001.” The Pine closed in 2004 before Reed Embry bought it and reopened the restaurant as a “family-style” eatery.

      Michael was the chef at The Pine for several years. Giuseppe (Joe) Pugliese was the owner of record of Nicos in Roanoke and Sals in Radford and Michael was listed as a co-owner of Nicos, which closed last year. The Ironto restaurant was called The Mountain View Italian Kitchen. It closed in 2006 but later reopened.

      • Well, this just proves that all newspaper reporting is not accurate. The article in the Floyd Press this week was much more accurate. And the Mountain View may have closed in 2006, but it is open now and Michael’s last day there was within the last month.

          • Doug: Mike was co-owner of the Pine Tavern with someone else for approximately a decade (the 1990s) before Swede became co-owner. The Mountain View restaurant did close before Mike ever worked there, but it reopened about a year ago (or less) with Mike as the chef. I went there several times this past summer.

          • Doug – when challenged on the facts, you should check the facts. Michael owned the Pine with Al Nuckols and Steve Pickford for most of the 90’s. Al and Steve sold out to Swede in 2001 – Michael maintained his ownership. It was Al who went and opened the restaurant near Woolwine with another feller. Michael, I *believe* was part owner of Nico’s, which was named for his son, Nick. Witness Protection Pizza, errr, I mean, MountainView Pizza did re-open a year or so ago – the whole story was on the front page of one of the sections of the Roanoke Times. Nico’s lost their lease, and Michael went to cook at WP Pizza while formulating his plans to return to Foyd. A simple call to Michael would give you full clarity on this. I’m pretty sure he’s in the phone book.

          • Yvonne:
            Thanks for the info. What I said in the original post was that Mike was a co-owner of The Pine from 2001-2004 with Swede and John. That was correct but Rio claimed it was not. I knew he was involved with the Pine before that but did not go into details. I just wanted to clarify that The Roanoke Times story was correct in what it reported. I didn’t know when Mike worked at The Mountain View. I didn’t even mention that in the original story and noted in the response to Rio that it closed and reopened.

          • Chris:
            I had every intention of talking to Mike after this weekend. When I visited the restaurant on Saturday he was extremely busy and I did not want to bother him. I simply reported on the opening and what I reported was correct: He was a co-owner with Swede and John from 2001-2004. I did make a mistake about him being involved in the Woolwine eatery and I fixed that. I noted he was involved with other venues. Swede verified that the Times story was correct and I reported that. I noted that Mountain View closed and reopened in a response. I didn’t even mention Mountain View in the original post.

            Most readers, when they find what they consider to be a mistake, are courteous enough to email me and suggest I might want to double check. I always do. Some choose to jump into the comments section and gleefully announce “you’re wrong”” and make it a challenge. If they are right, I correct the post. If they are wrong (as Rio was in saying the Times got their facts wrong) I point that out as well.

            I’m human. I make mistakes. We all do. My sole purpose in the story about Mickey G’s was to show it was open and drawing a crowd. It takes a lot of work to put out a site like this and I certainly don’t do it for the money. There were a couple of errors in the original story and they were fixed.

  2. We went Friday night , after waiting for a table 45 minutes, we were seated and no one came to the table except the hostess after 15 minutes, to get us drinks, remember this is after waiting 45 min. for table.
    We got the drinks the no one else for nearly 10 minutes , after an hour and 50 minutes we still had no food or service , it was time to eat elsewhere, terrible service only 10-12 tables 2 servers and they can’t handle 12 tables, the owner needs to see what is going on out front , he never left the kitchen!
    watching as many as 20 couples walk after waiting, but hearing the ones walking out say the food was good, We probably won’t know for a very long time , there are lots of kinks to work out here.
    The pizza pickup was a disaster no organization at all , as to what was who’s order, it was almost comical.
    I heard the comment many times about what was he thinking with such a small sit down area, and no place to stand to wait for a table, it will be a bit better in summer with the outside opening maybe another 10 tables but for now, it’s not working.
    I wish you the best and had high hopes but first impressions are a lot and, ours was terrible.
    The place should have been twice as big at least, and a much better layout for pizza pick up

    • For its second day in operation to have standing room only, and a backlog of food orders like that, I would be more impressed than pissed off. Every new opening restaurant experiences this problem, and from my experiences with Mike at Nicos, Sals, and the Pine, it was the same way till all the glitches worked out.

      Sit back, relax, have some wine, and enjoy your food when it comes. I remember several instances at Nicos and when Sals opened in Blacksburg. Its a test of patience, of course, but the food results are well worth it.

      I have talked to Mike several times during the last few months of construction, and I am pretty sure even he did not realize the amount of business he was going to have on the opening week.

      I would suggest calling in an order if time is of the essence, but to be honest, there is not such thing as quick food in Floyd. It is one of those things, I reckon its the Floyd way.

      • I was not asked if We wanted any wine or anything for 45 minutes after sitting down
        a glass of wine may have been nice.
        You say to call in an order, watching what was going on for order pickups , it was mass confusion and a lot of the orders half of the orders were done and people stood there and let that half get cold while waiting on the other half.
        The other restaurants in town take your order quickly and serve it in a reasonable time frame, and the food is excellent.
        Also if he has been id the restaurant business that long there shouldn’t be this many glitches, should there?

        • Experience and skill can only go so far in a new opening. There always is and always will be problems that arise, no one knows the exact reasoning for why there was a delay or mass confusion, but it does not take long for that to happen in a very busy situation like he had this week.

          But I will make a bet that it was used as a learning tool, and it is being corrected. Because without lessons in life, what is the purpose?

    • Sorry about your experience….it was our first real night open and 2 people called in sick . Even if they showed up it would have been chaotic .I never expected a turn out like we had,especially with the weather. Take out orders alone would have kept us busy. I have already stepped up the staff, fixed our phone line problems and put some new systems in order.Having problems with your business I don’t find at all comical.Most folks that left did so because they could not get a table.We are and will remain a small pizzeria bistro. The layout will work fine,we have plans for outside and ways to make pickup run more smoothly.For good service 2 servers are not enough for 12 tables.If you truly wished me the best you would have contacted me with your problem instead of telling as many people as you can.Once we are going smoothly I will frequent the dining room.This has been my life for 35 years,believe me I know what I am doing..NO I am not perfect .Maybe in your eyes we got off to a bad start ….But I am so happy to be back in Floyd doing my thing.. Fresh food done right in a warm friendly setting.I agree with you that there are good places to go in Floyd.Now there is another one that has much to offer.Feel free to come visit us,dinner is on me.Or you could stick with the places that you are so happy with.Either way BUON APPETITO.. Thank you Floyd for all your support..I am very thankful that everyone does not have the kick em while there down attitude.. Michael

        • Michael: I was at the table next to the front door on Friday from 5:30 to 7 pm. I did not see numerous (e.g., twenty) couples leave because of the wait time. I saw, at most, one couple enter and leave for that reason. Perhaps, Mr. Bob Taylor was there at a different time than I was on Friday evening. (Or perhaps he was facing the outside window, as I was not, and observed people who did not enter at all.) In any event, the food was well worth the wait. It was exceptional… even exquisite! The overwhelming response to your new restaurant last weekend is an homage to your culinary skills.

    • Bob,

      If that was your experience, I don’t blame you for being frustrated. I worked in the restaurant and bar business for many years and at a half dozen venues from wearing a tux to slinging long island iced teas and cold budweisers. In my mind, the top three rules in food service are to always greet your guests with a smile, let them know what is going on, and get drink orders out quickly. People will forgive a lot if you do those three things. It doesn’t sound like any of those three things happened for you, which is a shame.

      That being said, I would take Mike up on his gratious offer and make a return trip. I had lunch there on the day of the ice storm and the pizza and garlic knots were great and reasonably priced. We had pick up on Sat. night and the place was packed at 4:45 already. Pick up went fine, the hostess got me a beer while I waited and the food was good. I can’t wait to go back and try some of the main courses. The menu looks great and the plates I saw on the other tables looked fantastic.

      Mike’s definitely working with a small space but judging from his post below he understands the challenges and has solutions in mind already. The food and menu are in place. The service side will either rise to the occasion or the restaurant won’t succeed. It takes time and good personnel to make a restaurant click. I’m sure someone with Mike’s experience will work out the kinks. Give it another try! I think we need to support our local businesses when we can or our only option will be to get in the car and drive 30-45 minutes to eat out.

      Mike, best of luck with your new venture. My family will certainly be returning in the near future.

  3. I don’t think anyone — owner, staff or customers — expected the deluge of business experienced on Friday and Saturday. Clearly, Floydians were excited about Mike’s return to the Floyd restaurant scene. As one who dined there on both Friday and Sunday, I can assure those who had long waits earlier in the weekend that the service was excellent on Sunday. Although I, too, had a long wait on Friday, I am thrilled for both Mike and Floyd county that REAL Italian food is, again, available here!

  4. Tom and I managed to squeeze into Mike’ s restaurant on Saturday evening. The food was excellent, the service was good, although they were all overwhelmed with their success. Mike came out to toast the crowd and be toasted for the excellent fare AND-I didn’t mind at all the time it permitted for visiting with family and friends. This is a very worthy addition to Floyd’s dining opportunities.

  5. Doug, I have always appreciated your reporting and have never thought less of you for missing a fact or two. In the future I will certainly email you with “corrections” or questions about the facts. I apologize for “seeming” as if I were challenging you. That was not my intention.

  6. As a retired chef and former small restaurant owner, I can empathize with Mike. He’s seems to be a lot more gracious toward his opening night critics than I would have been. I noticed he offered a free meal to his most vociferous complainer. One has to wonder if that was the “gentleman” ‘s goal in the first place. A chef doesn’t open a small restaurant in a small town because he plans to get rich. He does it because he is passionate about his craft. 90% of all restaurants fail in the first year. The job of chef is considered to be as stressful as that of an air traffic controller.Considering the quality of the majority of the restaurants in SW Virginia, the folks in Floyd should thank Mike daily for choosing to gamble on their town. I don’t know Mike, but I do know of his reputation from an unlikely source…an aunt and uncle in Fayetteville, NC who still talk about the meal they had when he was the chef at Pine Tavern. My wife and I are looking forward to the one hour drive we will have to make to eat at his new place. I wish him the very best of luck. And as for the ungracious who are unwilling to cut a guy some slack on opening night, Hardee’s guarantees your food in five minutes.

  7. We went Fri. night, saw that the place was packed, and decided to eat elsewhere. Then went in around 9 for dessert and a glass of wine.Dessert was fabulous!!! We ordered food to go Sun. evening and it was ready exactly when they said it would be,20 min. Again Fabulous. Thank you Michael and staff. We are sooooo glad you are back here in Floyd. ,and so is everyone I know. I sure am glad I wasn’t so harshly judged on our opening day, as we didn’t quite know how to use the cash register!!! Everyone was kind and patient with us and still are. I agree with Michael that a personal rather than public discussion is the way to handle this. Again the food was GREAT. We will be regulars, just like the old days.

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