As it turns out, her long-held desire to open up a small eatery became a reality.

Last Thursday, Buse opened Gina’s Place in Guntown, in a small strip plaza on Highway 145.

“For years I’ve been talking having my own takeout restaurant, and here I am,” she said.

With eating options limited in Guntown – there are only a handful of restaurants, such as Magnolia House, Los Toros, Gurley’s and Junk Yard Burgers – Buse felt like she could stake a claim in the underserved market.

On the restaurant’s soft opening last week, a steady trickle of diners dropped by Gina’s, perusing the menu and picking up favorites like hamburgers, cheeseburgers and hot dogs.

The ground beef is hand-patted every day to ensure quality.

“It’s your basic dive food,” she said with a laugh. “Cheap, easy quick. You probably don’t want to come every day, but you’re welcome to come every day.”

Also on the menu: corn dogs, ribeye sandwich, chicken sandwich, chicken strips, grilled cheese, fries and tater tots, onion rings and fried pickles.

“I also have a dough burger, which is my mama’s recipe,” Buse said.

In addition, Gina’s has ice cream, shakes and sundaes.

“Eventually we want to expand the menu and add plate lunches,” she said. “But we have to get down the basics first.”

Family and friends are helping Buse with running her first restaurant, which has no indoor seating. There’s an ordering window and a few seats on the sidewalk outside.

Gina’s is open Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until the customers stop coming, Buse said.