NewsLocal NewsMichigan


East Lansing pizza restaurants surprised by visit from founder of Barstool

Posted at 8:11 AM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 08:11:50-05

EAST LANSING, Mich. — It's a name as familiar as Tom Izzo, and, like Izzo, Georgio's calls East Lansing Home.

But of all of the years here, this last one could be the toughest for owner Maria Hruska.

“That’s why we chose this location, because it’s in the middle of everything – especially the bars," she said.

“When it comes to business, we’re at least 50 percent or less on the business, at least," Hruska added. "We’re hoping soon everything will go back to, a little bit normal.”

But something unexpected happened here that gave this institution a shot in the arm.

Famous pizza reviewer Dave Portnoy, who founded Barstool, walked through the doors.

Hruska was excited “because I watch him every day - I don't follow where he goes every time. I didn’t even know he was in Michigan that particular day.”

Portnoy gave Georgio’s a score of 6.8.

“The customers were more upset with his review than us" Hruska said. "They said, ‘Oh, you should’ve gotten more,’ and I said, ‘That’s fine, that's a good score for us.'"

But that didn't matter, because it brought in "a lot of new people, a lot of new customers. Today again we had a new kid who came in, and he says, ‘You know, I came in because I saw Dave Portnoy was here.'”

But Portnoy made a second stop in East Lansing. He went to Bell’s Pizza, another favorite of MSU students.

“Alumni come a year later for a game or something, and the first thing they think about is to stop at Bell’s Pizza,” owner Habib Jarwan said.

Habib was not expecting to see Portnoy.

“Oh, Dave Portnoy was a surprise for us" Hruska said. "I saw all the students coming to try to take a selfie with him. Then I ask one of them, “Who is this guy?” and he told me who he is."

Now Portnoy is someone Habib won’t forget.

“The day they posted his visit, our revenue doubled,” he said.

Portnoy’s 6.9 rating of Bell's is still leaving an impact. Habib is certainly not complaining. "For him visiting, he gave us a good boost for the business. I mean, we would like him to visit once a week, would be nice. Business would be good."