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Gazzos Steaks draws huge crowd for Pottstown grand opening

POTTSTOWN — So ya think you love cheesesteaks?

Do you love them enough to stand in a line 40 people deep?

Do you love them enough to wait 15 or 20 minutes for your order?

Do you love them enough to sleep in your car overnight — with your dog — just so you can be first in line when the doors open?

Then you might just be a Gazzos Steaks customer.

The line outside Gazzo's Steaks Saturday for the grand opening was more than 40 people long right after the doors opened, and it kept getting longer. (Evan Brandt -- MediaNews Group)
The line outside Gazzos Steaks Saturday for the grand opening was more than 40 people long right after the doors opened, and it kept getting longer. (Evan Brandt — MediaNews Group)

For months, South Philly natives Mike Lamson and Joe Lewis have been operating out of an ever-more popular food truck parked along Route 100 in Upper Pottsgrove.

After marrying sisters from the region, the two had sought out cheesesteaks to rival the ones they are used to having in South Philly. Their search was in vain, so they decided to start making their own. What was intended as a weekend gig turned into a business that literally took off.

That is due in part to the fact that Gazzos is a social media monster, growing awareness of its universally praised product online to the point that Philadelphia TV station 6ABC did a short feature on the truck and its impending move to Pottstown on a April 30 program.

The line outside the Gazzos Steaks food truck was long enough that you could often see when driving past on Route 100. (Evan Brandt -- MediaNews Group)
The line outside the Gazzos Steaks food truck was long enough that you could often see it when driving past on Route 100. (Evan Brandt — MediaNews Group)

Lamson said “I know how to cook,” but Lewis did not. However his mother-in-law is the cook and chief sandwich maker at a different iconic Pottstown culinary institution — Brunish’s on Lincoln Avenue, home to the self-professed World’s Best Smoked Sausage — so his knowledge of good food bona fides are established through marriage.

“We had thought it might take a few years to build up the business,” said Lewis. But they are still in their first year. So they decided to take the next step while the grill is hot, so to speak.

The second the doors opened Saturday during the grand opening of Gazzo's Steaks, the staff was slammed with orders literally going out the door. (Evan Brandt -- MediaNews Group)
The second the doors opened Saturday during the grand opening of Gazzos Steaks, the staff was slammed with orders literally going out the door. (Evan Brandt — MediaNews Group)

For months, Lamson and Lewis have been working the truck, often running out of ingredients due to the high demand, then coming at night to work on the South Hanover Street storefront that was once home to the well-known Sheridan’s sandwich and magazine shop.

“We’ve been doing it for almost a year,” said Lamson. “It can get pretty tiring.”

Ginning up interest by posted regular updates on their progress on social media, the day finally came. “We’re really excited,” said Lewis as they waited for the doors to be thrown open.

Melody and Matthew Deeble, from the Schuylkill County town of Mahonoy City, drove down to Pottstown at 5:30 p.m. Friday, and slept overnight, in their car, with their dog, in order to be first in line when the doors opened at Gazzo's Steaks Saturday. (Evan Brandt -- MediaNews Group)
Melody and Matthew Deeble, from the Schuylkill County town of Mahonoy City, drove down to Pottstown at 5:30 p.m. Friday, and slept overnight, in their car, with their dog, in order to be first in line when the doors opened at Gazzos Steaks Saturday. (Evan Brandt — MediaNews Group)

On the other side of the doors, the first people in line were Melody and Matthew Deeble, who live in the Schuylkill County Borough of Mahanoy City.

Wearing a shirt with the hashtag “#GAZZOSMANIAC, Matthew said he, his wife and their dog drove down to Pottstown the night before, arriving at 5:30 p.m. and sleeping over night in their car so they could be the first customers.

Drivers on South Hanover Street slowed down to gawp at the line outside Gazzos Steaks during its grand opening on Saturday, May 11, 2024. (Evan Brandt -- MediaNews Group)
Drivers on South Hanover Street slowed down to gawp at the line outside Gazzos Steaks during its grand opening on Saturday, May 11, 2024. (Evan Brandt — MediaNews Group)

Kyle Craig from Gilbertsville was behind them and arrived on his motorcycle at 6:30 a.m.

“My wife had an event she wanted me to go to, but that only came up last week and I’ve known about this for months.” He acknowledged he might be spending Saturday night on the couch, but it would be with a full belly.

At the tail end of the line stood Brad Lerch and Tony Lucchese from Exeter.

They were there, they said, because they had heard good things about Gazzos and wanted to compare their steaks to those found at Tony’s in West Reading. Toney’s Lerch argued, “has the best steaks outside of Philly.” No word yet on their verdict.

And while the folks in line had gone to great lengths to secure their position, at least two customers managed to get their orders in before the Gazzos even opened — state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-146th Dist., and Montgomery County Commissioner Tom DiBello.

Having stopped by earlier to offer their hopes for success, they were rewarded with the opportunity to place the first orders.

“I’ve had them when they were up at the truck on 100 and they certainly never disappoint,” said DiBello.

“These steak sandwiches are unbelievable and I know they’ve gotten national coverage, as they should,” said Ciresi. “They’ve opened a national business here in Pottstown, great opening, great businesspeople. So come to Pottstown, have a cheeseteak and then visit our parks, because you might have to walk it off.”

DiBello said he has made it a point to support local businesses since being elected. “The revitalization efforts that are going on here in Pottstown are just amazing.”


Source: Berkshire mont

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