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Sgers cook up community at Primo

By: Teresa O'Hanlon, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. Considering today’s economy and suburban sprawl filled with vacancy signs, it’s no wonder Rocklin’s Primo Pizza- Burger-Brew has built a loyal customer base with quality food, honest prices and the return of the neighborhood hangout. “This is like Rocklin’s ‘Cheers,’” said Jerry Jordan of Rocklin. “The owners come out and greet you. They know you by name. It’s just the coolest place.” Tough times call for close friends and a menu that speaks to a weary worker. “Everybody wants to make money, but you cannot be greedy at this time,” said Rula Sger, who owns Primo Pizza-Burger-Brew with her husband Nasser. “With people falling in love with the quality of our dishes at reasonable prices, people will come back. We’re not a big corporation. We are Rocklin people.” The Sger family is rooted in the restaurant business. Former New Yorkers who have run successful restaurants for more than 20 years including Pete’s Pizza in Stanford Ranch, Nasser saw opportunity with a smaller venue on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Fairway Drive. “Our menu is unique,” Nasser said. “If you come here with a family of four, each person can order something different. We have higher quality than everyone else around us.” Every Friday evening, the Romans family of Rocklin eats dinner at Primo. “I always get the ravioli,” said 12-year-old Roberta Romans. “It’s really good and I can eat the whole thing.” His older sister Lauren Romans was visiting home from Sonoma State University. “Everyone is friendly here and it’s a fun environment,” Lauren said. “We shared a pepperoni, pineapple and sausage pizza.” When asked to recommend a favorite dish, Rula shared some history about her husband’s passion for cooking. “In all honesty, every single item on the menu has brought customers back to us,” Rula said. “Once you’ve had a bite of our hamburgers, there is no way you’re not coming back. Nasser also makes the most delicious marinara, Bolognese, and Alfredo sauces. When he worked in other restaurants, customers would come in and request Nasser to cook their meal. These are people who are hard-core Italian. It’s not a job for Nasser, it’s the love, it’s definitely the passion.” The Sger family includes 18-year-old Rowan who is the pizza cook and 16-year-old Samih who is studying to be a chef. The Sgers wanted customers to experience the passion and love of a Mediterranean meal in an inviting space, so they hired artist Kristina Letson of Bel Murales to create a large Venetian mural and surround the space with an aged Italian brick wall finish. “Rula was really wanting something that spoke about Italy and Venice in particular, so it was a really neat project for us to collaborate on,” Letson said. Rocklin business owner Julie Pearson said she enjoys the scene at Primo. “Small businesses are dying in Rocklin,” Pearson said. “It’s so nice to see the same people here every week.” Primo Pizza-Burger-Brew offers a wine selection and 12 beers on tap, including eight gold-medal brews from Firestone Walker Brewing Company of Paso Robles. Happy hour is between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday with $3 pints. “We also have a delicious lunch menu,” Rula said. “Monday through Friday we have six items priced at $5.99. They are not small amounts, but the same as a dinner portion. Customers get a full sandwich with a full choice of salad or soup for $5.99. Another choice is a personal pizza. The spaghetti lunch is the same portion we serve at dinner.” Primo Pizza-Burger-Brew also offers take out, delivery and caters events. But eating in house means smelling handmade pizza dough baking or listening to fresh patties sizzle on the grill. “I live right around the corner and probably eat here three nights a week,” said Jay Hanks of Rocklin. “They take pride in their food and it’s a great family atmosphere.” Primo Pizza -Burger -Brew Where: 2600 Sunset Blvd., Ste. 103 Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday — Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday Information: 259-1010; primopizzaandpasta.net