George Goldstine moved to Kailua-Kona, HI in 1987. He was a triathlete who competed in the Hawaii Ironman in '85, '93 & '94 and the Hawaii Ultraman in '86 & '93. George worked at the B&L Bike & Sports shop in Kona in '88 & '89 as a bike mechanic. He and his B&L co-workers competed in bike races on Oahu. Usually, one competes as part of a team just like the Tour de France. They had to come up with a team name and decided that the "B&L Bike Racing Team" was too boring. They wanted to sound like an Italian racing team so they added an "i" to the end of "B&L" ... hence the name "Bianelli" was created.
Having managed and operated several pizzerias in Chicago and Arizona, George decided to open a pizzeria in Kona in 1989. After asking friends and family what to name the restaurant the name Bianelli's was chosen. Not only was the name "Bianelli's" Italian sounding and marketable George also liked the idea of honoring the B&L Bike & Sports shop (which was owned by his best friend, Nick Rott).
Bianelli's Gourmet Pizza & Pasta was open in Kailua-Kona between 1989-2004. It was consistently voted Best Pizza and Best Italian Restaurant by the West Hawaii Today's Readers Poll every year the contest was held. Bianelli's was also the most popular place to eat for triathletes year-round because a) George was a triathlete himself and b) George had the best pizza & pasta in town. Triathletes naturally gravitated to Bianelli's during Ironman time because George was the Bike Director for the Hawaii Ironman for 9 years.
The sport of triathlon, or any sport for that matter, is not for the faint of
heart. George was hit by a vehicle on 3 separate occasions while cycling on the roads of Kona. One such incident was almost fatal and left George with a severe head injury and 11 broken bones. He never gave up though and always got back into training shape despite the challenges of rehabilitation. Unfortunately, George's best friend, Nick Rott (the owner of B&L Bike & Sports shop), was killed while out on a training ride in 1994. A picture of Nick hangs on the wall of the restaurant along with other sports memorabilia and photographs. Incidentally, Nick's widow sold B&L Bike & Sports to a man from San Diego. There are now two B&L Bike & Sports shops in San Diego - one in Solana Beach and one near the Sports Arena.
After a 6-year hiatus, George re-opened Bianelli's Gourmet Pizza on April 1, 2010, inside Kona Natural Foods. Bianelli's re-located to the Keauhou Shopping Center and opened on March 1, 2011. We have a nice dining room with outside seating available and a bar ... and plenty of free parking!