CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – Carlisle hosts an event highlighting all the new and local restaurants. It is the response to a request by new restaurateurs looking to get the word out about their food businesses, which are booming in the borough.
One of the new kids on the block, Mike Stefanon, is always busy in his pizza kitchen. But after two years, his shop is not as busy during lunchtime as he might have liked.
“We’re at that point where we’d like to see the boom happen,” he said.
The restaurant industry is fluid. Some close, new ones like Stefanon’s Seve-N-Dots Pizza are open, but in the past few years, there’s been a net increase in food spots.
“There’s a lot of competition here in Carlisle,” Stefanon said, “so if you have good food and you really put your food out there, yes, it’s a great place to own a restaurant.”
Getting the food and word out there is the reason for Carlisle’s Taste of Home event at the high school.
“As people are beginning to try and consider what they want to spend their money on during the Christmas season, here’s a chance to try out a local restaurant,” said Michelle Crowley, president of the Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce.
Crowley says restaurants in Carlisle have become more diverse the past few years, and it’s now at least a million-dollar industry.
“It’s been a nice steady growth because the local residents and people from probably a 30- to 60-mile drive support the local restauranteurs,” she said.
In a saturated market, Stefanon says you have to do right and with your own flavor to survive.
For him, he says that means, “The tomatoes are a little sweet and you spice it up with a little garlic and pepper and stuff, and then we use the best cheese in the market: Grande Cheese.”