Gavino’s comes to Farragut

Mark Bibby is bringing Gavino’s Restaurant Pizzeria to Farragut.

Bibby, owner of Gavino’s Pizzeria Restaurant in Bearden, plans to open his second location at 11316 Parkside Drive, situated behind Calhoun’s Restaurant, by the end of February.

“From a pizza point of view, it’s a classical New York thin-crust-style pizza, an 18-inch large pizza,” Bibby said. “It’s just high-quality ingredients and great flavors. I mean, I can’t buy better cheeses or tomatoes for the product.”

He said a man who worked for a famous New York pizzeria for more than 20 years developed the pizza.

Gavino’s also carries Sicilian-style pizza with thick crust and Italian hero sandwiches.

“We have great pastas with real authentic flavors,” he said, adding his most successful pasta is guytano chicken in a rich cream sauce with grilled chicken, spinach, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.

“Come relaxed and come hungry and, hopefully, we will make you happy with the tastes we’ve got,” he said.

Bibby has been working in the food industry for about 42 years. During that time, he has gone from barbecue to Ruby Tuesdays to a pizzeria.

“I just loved the smells and touch of food, and I wanted to make a career out of it,” he said.

A Manchester England, native, Bibby left England for Toronto, Canada, in 1986 and then to went to Orlando, Fla., in 2007, to work for Smoky Bones, which was part of Darden Restaurants.

In 2014, he moved to Knoxville to take a position as vice president of culinary beverages for Ruby Tuesday’s.

“My family and I loved the area so much we didn’t want to leave,” Bibby said. “So we decided to buy Gavino’s Pizzeria Restaurant in Bearden.

“It was for sale at the time and I felt good about the quality of the product.,” he said. “[The business], unlike a franchise, was something I could work with.

Since owning Gavino’s, he said the business has grown to the point it could support another location in Farragut.

Bibby said he was getting a lot of requests, by phone and patrons coming in, to open another restaurant closer to Farragut and West Knoxville.

“We thought it was a good opportunity to expand to this area,” he said. “I like the [Turkey Creek] area because there already were restaurants but there were no pizza or pasta restaurants too close by.”

He also liked the patio attached to the building, he said.

Bibby said he saw the Turkey Creek site in Pinnacle while driving past it on many occasions and asked the staff at Bayer development about it.

He plans to have the Farragut restaurant opening from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturdays, and from noon to 9 p.m., Sundays.