Over the past few weeks, a lot of chatter was flowing throughout town about a new cafe opening up on Main Street in Royersford. Unfortunately for arts enthusiasts, The Bent Note Cafe, formerly located at 263 Main St., closed its doors and a "For Rent" sign could be seen in the bare window.
Not long after, between mid-and-late November, two Bucks County natives found an ad on the Internet for the shop.
"He called me at the end of November and I was working at a local café where I worked then and hanging out with my friends," said co-owner Dean O'Connor, who is the cafe's chef and currently lives in Warminster. "He sent me a message saying, ‘Hey, are you still interested in owning your own restaurant?’ The next thing you know, it was like a whirlwind."
O'Connor owns the shop with lifelong best friend Anthony Berdomas, currently a Levittown resident. Both have previous food-industry experience, including years of service with Austin's Steakhouse, and a few other ventures. Berdomas has management and corporate experience, and O'Connor has general manager, kitchen manager and chef experience. Now, they have a place of their own, and the ultimate goal is a community feel.
The Main Street Cafe serves breakfast and lunch from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, with options like omelets, egg dishes, kids meals, pancakes, French toast, breakfast sandwiches, breakfast wraps, soups, chili, starters, melts, grilled cheese, salads, club sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, burgers, cheesesteaks, lunch wraps, cold sandwiches, desserts and drinks. There are 21 tables in the well-lit, two-room establishment.
"Breakfast and lunch is what I've always liked to do," O'Connor continued. "Number one, quality of life is outstanding when you’re doing breakfast and lunch. You’re done by 3:00 in the afternoon. Who doesn’t like that? But, what I also find in working in these restaurants is it’s like building a small community. So, all of a sudden, I get to go to work and hang out with my friends everyday, which is kind of awesome."
O'Connor and Berdomas have the ultimate goal of making The Main Street Cafe into a community hub for local residents to hang out, experience a true local feel, enjoy great food, and establish friendships for years to come.
Taking a look around the shop, photos and memorabilia hang from the walls, including old photos donated by Spring-Ford Historian Bill Brunner, as well as a few items honoring local and EMS services. As you walk into the second room of the cafe, a mirror hangs right by the window of the shop.
"That’s the true owner of the restaurant," Berdomas said. "The person looking in that mirror."
This building itself dates back to 1908, so the photos on the walls mean something to both the ownership and the community.
"This town has a lot of history," said Berdomas. "So, it kind of sparked in us that it would be nice that even though we’re outsiders, we want to be part of this community. What a great way to say that we may be new, but we want to learn about the history of this area."
Although Berdomas and O'Connor currently do not live in Royersford, they indicated they may have plans to move here. O'Connor has a 4-year-old boy that he would love to raise in the Area School District.
Berdomas continued by saying generations within families should enjoy the historic feel the photos on the wall have.
"I wanted it to be like a grandmother, a mother and daughter could come in and the grandmother could say ‘I used to work there or go shopping there.’ Now we have three generations that remember going to places on Main Street. And I tell people if they have any old photos of around town, I say bring them in and we’ll hang them up."
The first week has had its bumps and bruises, according to the owners, but overall, they've enjoyed serving Royersford since the Jan. 5 grand opening. The guys said they are looking to impress with "the best food in town" in the opening weeks.
"Coming from both of us, when we work, we like to kick [butt]," Berdomas said. "It’s not about how much money we’re making. We need to make money to survive and stuff like that, but we love kicking [butt]. How many people can we serve? How happy can we make them? How much of a wow can they walk out of here with? Are we the place when their family comes to town, they’re bringing them here?"
The money is like a byproduct of the overall experience for Berdomas and O'Connor. But, when people walk into their cafe, they want to be "the diamond in a rough."
"We want to be that hidden gem – like people come here for the first time and they’re wowed," Berdomas said. "And people can come here over and over again and have something different each time and be wowed just the same. That’s our main thing now. Have people come in here, try our food, get things done on the service end. You have fun too. We have fun in here. Like we said about community – that’s a big thing. Especially being here when there’s generations upon generations living here. These residents value their dollars. They really do."