Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Local Restaurants Close . . . New Restaurants Open . . . Let's support our local business community

The economy continues to take its toll on our local business community; the restaurant business particularly hard-hit. We know of some closings in the area but it is also exciting to mention restaurant openings. I say a brave move on the part of these resturantuers. There are some pockets in the area that have done remarkably well; based on downtown Phoenxville a couple of Saturdays ago, you wouldn’t even know that there was a problem with the economy. Their restaurants were full and people were waiting on the streets for tables. However, on our side of the mountain from Malvern to Wayne, some restaurants have not enjoyed that same degree of success and there have been closings. But there have also been some recent openings.

Fellini’s Cafe in Paoli closed at the end of the year, under a cloud of Chapter 7. However, Fellini’s Cafe in Berwyn (my understanding is that the 2 locations were not related) continues to have a great following and is busy most nights. In fact, Fellini’s in Berwyn is a local favorite of our State House Rep and his wife.

Next to Fellini’s Cafe in Paoli, there has been a makeover of a long-standing shoe store in to Seafood USA. Construction has been underway for several months. Curious about its opening schedule, I called their other location (330 W. Lancaster Ave, Wayne). First I was told they would open by the end of this month; but after hearing I would mention the opening on Community Matters, the owner decided it was probably safer to say opening will be April 2010. Fair enough, and we look forward to seafood in Paoli.

Rocco’s Steaks opened in Paoli on Lancaster Ave — formerally it was Tradewinds Coffee (before coffe, the place was Polish Water Ice). Originally, I think the building may have been an early Dairy Queen. Anyway, the point is that it is a drive-through cheese steak place that some are comparing to Gino’s and Pat’s in the city. Not being a connoisseur of cheese steaks, maybe some of you would like to try the place and offer your opinion.

A new authentic Middle Eastern restaurant, Cedars Cafe has just opened in Malvern, in the Westgate Plaza (next to Staples) on Lancaster Ave. My husband and I vacationed in Istanbul last August, so I will be anxious to stop by that restaurant. Also in Westgate is Jimmy’s BBQ a very authentic barbeque resturant, especially good for take-out for that warm summer night (don’t we wish!) and a great catering menu. I noticed that Jimmy has now added a blog to his website with recommended beer to drink with his barbeque.

For those of you who want to have one last dinner at Trattoria San Nicola, Berwyn — I called to check on their closing date. The doors will close on April 17 but the San Nicola in Paoli will remain open. Sorry to see San Nicola shuttered in Berwyn, I have enjoyed that restaurant. But walking distance from San Nicola, a new tea shop has opened. The Royal Tea House, has recently opened in the turn-of-the-century building that until very recently housed a coffee shop. Stop by Royal Tea House for a hot cup of tea and a wonderful pastry . . . but also stop by to shop; they have a great assortment of loose tea and tea accessories. Royal Tea House is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM (closed Sunday & Monday).

Looking for a special treat on a March weekend — for the last several years, some of the wineries in Brandywine Valley have featured tastings of the new vintages in barrels, buckets, bottles and more! ‘Barrels on the Brandywine’ is a Passport Event (visit their website for details and ticket purchase). These special wine weekends give you the behind the scenes tour; allowing visitors a chance into their wine cellars, see the new wines firsthand and participate in pruning demonstrations, seminors and more. For further information:

As a small business owner and a board member of Paoli Business and Professional Association, I understand firsthand the crisis facing our local businesses as they struggle to stay open. We are reminded as we drive by the empty storefronts on Lancaster Avenue, we are reminded of the many closings that have occurred. I would encourage everyone to support our local businesses — whether it is the hardware, dry cleaners, hair salon, or restaurant. By keeping the flow of business in the neighborhood, everyone can play a vital role in regenerating the economic growth of Tredyffrin. Supporting our local business community of Tredyffrin Township supports everyone!

If you know of a new business in the community, please send me an email with the specifics, To show support, I would like to offer them exposure on Community Matters.

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  1. I had heard San Nicola’s lease in Berwyn had not been re-newed.

    I tried Rocco’s.. reminds me of the old Wendy’s commercial “Where’s the Beef?”

  2. I’d have to disagree about Rocco’s. I’ve had them and I think the steaks are good. The bread is fresh and everything is made on-site. Give it a try – the staff is friendly and service is good.

  3. I tried Rocco’s and was not exactly bowled over. The food I ordered was definitley temperature-challenged: fries were not quite warm and the steak not hot enough to melt the cheese even after being wrapped up. I might give them another try in a little while to see if they’ve gotten it straightened out.

  4. Steak sandwiches — Nudy’s is the home of….way beyond anything you’ll find out here elsewhere. Original Nudys is one of 4 now — but the original is right here next to the back door of Whole Foods.

  5. Jimmy’s BBQ is terrific. We moved here 15 years ago from a city with great barbecue, Oakland (due to the migration of the core of its black community from Louisiana & SE Texas during WW2 to work in the ship yards), and Jimmy’s is the first place we’ve found that meets the standards we thought we’d left behind.

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