When Gino Minardi opened Gino’s Italian Restaurant in 1993, it started as a quaint, four-table eatery on Mays Street in Round Rock. Over the years, Gino’s expanded twice, taking over adjacent suites as other businesses moved out. Today, Gino’s holds a special place in locals’ hearts, known for its warm family atmosphere and authentic Italian cuisine.
Now managed by Gino Minardi’s three daughters—Gina Minardi, Christina Minardi, and Teresa Cottingham—the family business continues to thrive. Klair Rizo, the Assistant Manager, attributes the restaurant’s success to its loyal customer base and the welcoming environment. “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.”
Over time, Gino’s menu has evolved from just sandwiches and pizza to a wide variety of Italian dishes, including classics such as lasagna and the fan-favorite Chicken Marsala. Teresa Cottingham ensures that every menu item remains true to Gino Minardi’s authentic recipes from Italy. “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 Gino’s popularity and growth in the thriving Austin suburb, Cottingham believes it’s unlikely the restaurant will expand further. She and her sisters are dedicated to preserving the unique essence that 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.”
If you’re looking for a taste of Italy in Austin, or if you’re considering relocating to the area and want to explore the local culinary scene, be sure to visit Gino’s Italian Restaurant at:
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.