Expansion plans are on the menu for Greenock pizza parlour Tonino’s which has been shortlisted for two national honours.
Based at Grey Place, Tonino’s is a finalist in the ‘best pizzeria’ category at the Scottish Italian Awards for the second year in a row.
The town centre restaurant and delicatessen is also in the running for the ‘UK pizza championships’ title for the first time.
The nominations cap off a whirlwind couple of years for owner Tony Bonatti and his 15-strong team since opening in 2016 and plans are in the pipeline to grow the business to keep up with demand.
He is hoping to expand with a new upstairs dining area and is in talks about setting up a production unit in Greenock to make the likes of dough and sauces.
Tony, who turns 33 today, said:
“I’ve done things as and when they needed to be done it’s been natural growth. What we’re still doing though is turning people away because we’re full, which is what I hate doing.
“I don’t like to say ‘no’ to customers. We have plans for a 10-12 seat mezzanine and we’re looking at a central kitchen to make things like dough and sauce.
“It’s been a quick couple of years, it really has, but it’s been great and business has picked up all the time.”
Above: Tonino’s head chef Gilda Medinelli and Owner Tony Bonatti
For now, Tony and his team – including head chef Gilda Medinelli and front of house manager Jillian Webster – are celebrating their Scottish Italian Awards nod and looking forward to the prize giving ceremony in Glasgow on Sunday.
Tony, who lives in Gourock, said:
“This is our second year being shortlisted for an award, which is pretty cool. One thing I’ve always had at the forefront of the business is consistency and this is a clear sign that we’re consistent.
“It’s easy to get complacent so it’s nice to know we’re on the ball in that regard. We’re really happy that this is a sign we’re doing well.
“It’s also nice for the staff to be rewarded for their hard work because they are all really good.”
To celebrate the second anniversary of the opening of Tonino’s last week, there is a special offer during November as a ‘thank you’ to customers.
For more details – visit the Taste Inverclyde offers page.
For more details about Tonino’s – click here.
This article and pictures appeared in the Greenock Telegraph on 7 November 2018.