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Nob Hill’s new sports bar, Gioco, ready for kickoff

giocoALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque’s newest sports bar will arrive just in time for the start of the 2014 NFL season.

Gioco formally will open to the public Monday, co-owner Robert Munro said, debuting just days before Green Bay and Seattle meet in the first NFL game of the year.

The Nob Hill eatery represents the newest project from Munro and Rob O’Niell, who also own the city’s two O’Niell’s Pubs.

Gioco is located next door to the Nob Hill O’Niell’s but is an entirely different concept — lots of TVs and a menu populated with pizzas, paninis, salads and distinctive appetizers like the “pork belly party.”

It’s “basically marinated pieces of pork put in a paper bag and (shaken) with powdered sugar, cardamom and red chile,” Munro said. “Lots of fun little appetizers that you won’t see elsewhere.”

Gioco has a full bar serving cocktails like an Italian margarita, as well as 10 beers on tap and others offered by the bottle.


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It seats about 100 and is designed to be a comfortable, social place, Munro said.

“I know a couple of other sports bars are on our heels — Rock & Brews (on Montgomery) and Bubba’s 33 (along Pan American Freeway), but this is definitely a local experience with local flavor,” Munro said. “We’re excited to have people enjoy sports again in Nob Hill.”

Gioco is located at 4310 Central SE, at Washington. It formally opens to the public at 11 a.m. Monday, though it will host a few events before then, Munro said.