Gio Taco prides itself on being “Totally Unexpected” and they are doing something very new for downtown. They are offering to feed kids for free. That’s right, every Sunday, starting at 3pm, kids under 12 eat for free when they come in with their parents. The popular Family Nights have been moved from Tuesday’s to Sundays. In addition to Gio’s innovative tacos, with varieties like Duck Mole and Korean BBQ, family night offers Happy Hour pricing for adults and live entertainment for the kiddos. Kids can rock out to DJ’s, get balloon animals or make crafts. As a Local First Arizona member, Gio is also happy to involve other businesses in the family friendly events. Past family nights have seen craft activities from the Children’s Museum, and owner Brian Metzger is happy to talk to additional local businesses that may want to offer childrens’ activities on Sundays. Metzger says that the decision to provide for families downtown made perfect sense to him. “I have kids, and our restaurants are all about family,” he said. “Each of the Metzger Family Restaurants are named for a family member.” Gio manager Josh Proctor is also a parent. “As young families ourselves, we saw the need for a quality family friendly restaurant that kids would want to play at and parents would want to eat at,” said Proctor.
Proctor is happy to be part of a restaurant that accommodates everyone, from kids and parents, to students and nightclub goers and everyone in-between. Says Proctor, “Gio Taco is a no rules approach to tacos. As Tucson’s best value in fast casual, we pride ourselves on being the only place in town where you can get two tacos, a beer, and all you can eat chips and salsa for only $6. We never suffer from a lack of opportunities to engage any of the communities that we’re fortunate to be a part of. Whether that’s offering happy hour during all Wildcats games, or during 2nd Saturday; $1 beers on Thursdays, or $9 buckets on Friday and Saturday; there’s always something for us to celebrate at Gio Taco. We opened in December of 2013, and are located right in the heart of downtown, where Congress, 4th Ave, and the U of A converge.”
Eating at Gio, quite literally, gives you a front row seat to downtown Tucson. Being part of a neighborhood of so many other local businesses has given Proctor a new appreciation for Tucson’s amazing local business community. “Supporting local is vital to creating a vibrant community of viable businesses,” comments Proctor. “Whether it’s through our local printer, our local tea producer, or the many farmer’s markets that we do business at, we know that whenever we support locally owned businesses we are going to see that support return to us ten-fold.”
Metzger Family Restaurants continues to grow in Tucson and will be opening its newest location, Jackson Tavern, on December 15th. Says Metzger, “Taverns have dotted the nation's eastern seaboard since America's colonial times, and were prominent places of hospitality, commerce and conversation in the public square. Jackson Tavern will be a modern expression of classic New England cuisine and culture.” The menu will be anchored by the classic tavern fare that defined early American dining, with modern adaptations for which Metzger Family Restaurants has become known. The restaurant will also feature an outdoor ice cream station. The 3,700 square-foot restaurant and tavern will be located at 2900 N. Swan Road, Suite 100 at Plaza Palomino on the SE corner of Swan and Ft. Lowell.
Metzger and Proctor have been busy getting the new restaurant ready for its grand opening and they are excited to expand their ability to offer great food in Tucson. Says Proctor, “The best thing about operating a business in Tucson is the opportunity to give something back to the community that we love. Whether that’s amazing food and drinks, or a great job with an exciting company that’s growing, we take pride in being a homegrown organization that’s able to serve our guests the very best that Tucson has to offer.”