Food & Drink

What's good here? Gina's Pizza and Italian Gourmet

WHAT'S GOOD HERE: Get to know the people behind local restaurants

Gina Rockwood opened Gina's Pizza and Italian Gourmet in the Friarsgate neighborhood of Irmo almost four years ago.

What's good here?

"Definitely the pizza, although we do have other stuff. We have pasta, subs, strombolis and calzones. We have 20 different gourmet pizzas."

Tell us about the pizza.

"All the dough is made from scratch every day. The sauce is made fresh every day. It's a New York pizza so it's a thin crust. All the ingredients are fresh. The pizza is to die for."

What's your background?

"My parents have an Italian deli in Staten Island, N.Y. They've been in business 50 years. It's in my blood. They don't make pizza. I'm the only one in the family that makes pizza."

What does the restaurant look like?

"It's a very, very small place in Friarsgate. We've only got seven or eight tables for eat-in. It's primarily delivery and pick up. But we have plans to do an expansion. We're going to take the unit next to us and make it more customer-service friendly."

When will the restaurant expand?

"We hope it's completed in four to six months. We already started. We're doing it in steps."

What's the most popular item on the menu?

"Pizza for sure. ... We have all different kinds. We have Alfredo sauce pizza, pesto sauce pizza, barbecue pizza. We have wheat crust. We have a gluten-free crust. A pretty big variety."

Anything else?

"The eggplant parmesan dinner is a must to try."

Who eats there?

"Everybody and anybody. From the kids to the grandparents, everybody loves it."

If the pizza is New York style, are most of your customers Northern transplants?

"There are quite a few that have relocated. I've got a really good share of Southerners, too. We're appealing to both crowds. So that's a good thing."

- Megan Sexton

ABOUT GINA'S PIZZA

WHERE: 107A N. Royal Tower Drive in Irmo

MENU: Pizza, Italian food

HOURS: 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Delivery available all day.

PRICES: Personal pizzas start at $4.50. Extra large, 18-inch supreme with everything is $20.

MORE INFORMATION: (803) 781-7800

MAKE A NOMINATION: Do you have a restaurant, nightspot, server or bartender you would like to see featured in "What's good here?" Send nominations to Megan Sexton, msexton@thestate.com or (803) 771-8418.

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