When a devastating earthquake ripped through Southern Italy on November 23, 1980, Chef Alfonso Russo lost the restaurant that he sacrificed so many years to create. This catastrophic event forced Alfonso to relocate his family and his dreams to the United States. Several years later, after cooking in some of the area’s finest restaurants, Chef Russo along with his son, Rob, decided it was time to combine their talents and venture out on their own. On October 16, 1996, their hard work and dedication was realized in the opening of Girasole Cucina Italiana. For five years, they consistently satisfied patrons and critics alike and the need for a larger space was eminent. Since July of 2001, 502 West Union Avenue has been the home of the extended family of Girasole staff and customers.