Two new eateries have opened in the Norristown area this June – the Norristown Diner and Dante’s Ristorante & Pizzeria – and both are looking to make an impact on the local restaurant scene.
The Norristown Diner is a colorful new place, co-owned by Hussein Abdelhalim, at 234 West Johnson Highway, the former location of .
The diner is already making a name for itself with its constant changing specials and memorable seafood dishes. Abdelhalim believes it all starts with preparation.
"We’re special because we have a great Greek Chef, we have a unique taste, and almost everything is homemade."
Although the Norristown Diner just opened on June 15, Abdelhalim is no stranger to the restaurant business. He also owns the Lion Share Diner in Exton.
Abdelhalim believes the restaurant business is a very demanding one, requiring a lot of dedication and time.
"I spend a little bit too much time here," said Abdelhalim. "I’m here every day and frequently find myself closing."
However, in hindsight, the hard work seems to already be paying off.
"[While] it took a lot of hard work to get the diner open, we’re just trying to get out name out there," said Abdelhalim. "But the people who have come are coming back and that’s a good sign."
The Norristown Diner is open from six in the morning to ten at night, and has a private room that can hold up to 40 people.
The second new spot in town, Dante’s Ristorante & Pizzeria in the Hillcrest Plaza Shopping Center in East Norriton, is a friendly Italian restaurant with strong family values and a great deal of management experience at its helm.
"I have been in the business for 32 years," said Dante Didonato Jr., who has managed pizzerias in Phoenixville, Birdboro, and Spring City, and has finally achieved his dream of owning a pizzeria close to his roots in Norristown.
Since their grand opening on June 18, they have seen some new faces, and have recognized some loyal customers from previously owned pizzerias.
"We enjoy meeting and serving our new customers, and our old customers, who have followed Dante’s throughout the years."
They believe their mix of family management within the business as well as attention to freshness sets them apart.
"[We have] fresh made dough, soups, salads, dinners to order, and homemade meatballs," said Didonato. "We also have a very friendly staff, and we are family owned and operated."
Didonato believes that having a passion for the business is the best way to deal with the hard work that Dante’s values so much.
"If you want to keep a very clean, organized and well stocked establishment it is extremely demanding," said Didonato. "When you take pride in what you do it is very hard work with very long hours. You have to love your work in order to give the best to your customers."
Didonato recommends the lasagna, crab cakes and the homemade chili for first timers.
Do you know of a new business opening in the Norristown area? Let us know so we can share the news with our readers!