Giorg: Traditional Italian with a Modern Twist in Thunder Bay

Another hidden gem worth seeking out and well known to the community with an established history of excellence in Thunder Bay is the Italian restaurant, Giorg: Cucina e Barra. Giorg is located in the heart of the South Core (Fort William), behind the new courthouse on Justice Ave. near the entrance of Victoriaville Centre.


The restaurant has been around for many years at the same location. In 2014 the original owners decided to retire. They sold the restaurant to the owners of another success story, bight. Bianca Garofalo and Katrina Oostveen renovated Giorg with new light fixtures, refinished floor, wine cabinets, new lobby and more.

Related: bight, A Fine Dining Experience with Amazing Views of Sleeping Giant and Lake Superior


The menu has the old staples with new items to spice it up. A new wine list incorporates vintage selections. The menu changes seasonally - four times a year, to better take advantage of locally produced foods when possible. Appetizers change more frequently. Winter might bring out more chestnut pesto and summer more fresh tomatoes.


The pasta is made in-house, fresh every day with their own pasta machine, an extruder, which you can see in the lobby looking much like a meat grinder. It takes three basic food ingredients, and bronze dies of different forms change the shape of the noodles. Pasta made at Giorg can also be purchased at Maltese Grocery.


The Giorg menu can be found at You will be delighted by the authentic Italian offerings. Don’t be shy to ask for translations, definitions or make special requests.


Giorg’s young yet very experienced chef, Neil Puzzella, has an authentic Italian background. He recently visited Italy and he has always had a passion for Italian cooking. The cooks at Giorg are front and centre. They slide beautifully plated foods upon the large silver-steel counter for all to see.


Joining Giorg regulars are fans of bight restaurant and younger people who are seeking out more authentic fare and fusion foods inspired by Thunder Bay’s new gastropub scene. 


Katrina enjoys the changes and points out, “You don’t have to come in for the whole nine yards. You can come in for a glass of wine and an antipasto. Or just a coffee.”


“Fort William has become more of a destination,” states Katrina, referring to their new neighbour, ExCuria, a fusion restaurant. “They have definitely brought in some fresh faces. Anything new in the area is great for everyone.”

Related: ExCuria: Modern Cuisine Revives this Historic Building


About Duncan Weller

A writer and visual artist, Duncan Weller is a Governor General's Award winner who lives in Thunder Bay. You can visit his website at His latest two books are a novel, Flight of the Silk, and an expanded edition of the award-winning children's picture book, The Boy from the Sun.

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