When Gino Minardi opened Gino’s Italian Restaurant in 1993, it occupied a 1,000-square-foot suite on Mays Street with only four tables.

Over time, Gino’s expanded twice, taking over adjacent suites when other businesses moved out.

Minardi has since stepped back from managing the restaurant and enjoys retirement with his wife, Angela. Their three daughters—Gina Minardi, Christina Minardi and Teresa Cottingham—run the family business together.

For 30 years, Gino's has maintained a loyal customer base thanks to the restaurant's warm family atmosphere, Assistant Manager Klair Rizo said.

“Regulars make up at least half our community,” Rizo said. “Every time they come in, everyone greets them with a big old, ‘Hey, how are you?’ or we go and hug them.”

Just as large a contributor to the popularity of Gino’s is the food itself, Cottingham said.

When Gino’s first opened, the menu just had sandwiches and pizza, but over time it has grown to include a wider selection of Italian fare from classics such as lasagna to the fan favorite Chicken Marsala.

Cottingham said the common thread among every menu item is that they are authentic recipes from when Minardi lived in Italy.

As one example, Cottingham said the Chicken Marsala is made the traditional way with pan-fried chicken breast; chopped and sauteed mushrooms; and a Marsala wine sauce with onion, garlic and mushrooms.

“It’s all my dad’s recipes,” Cottingham said. “It really just goes back to old-school Italian. We stayed old school, and it works.”

Despite the restaurant’s huge success in Round Rock, Cottingham said it’s unlikely Gino’s will expand further as she and her sisters focus on maintaining what makes Gino’s special.

“As the town grew and we grew, we kind of became a landmark in Round Rock,” Cottingham said. “I think what we’re doing is not easily duplicated.”

Gino’s Italian Restaurant

1701 S. Mays St., Round Rock



Hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; closed Sun.