Souderton Connects last month cut the ribbon at Peppe Steaks, officially welcoming the business to town.
But owners Joe and Micaela Chiaro already know Souderton well. They already run specialty restaurant The Burger Shop, located just up the block from Peppe’s on North Main Street.
The Peppe Steaks opening featured live music, free sliders, lemonade, and punch. “Peppe” is an Italian nickname for Giuseppe and Giuseppe is the Italian version of Joseph.
The Burger Shop, which opened in July 2019 at 162 N. Main St., specializes in burgers, fries and shakes. At its 144 N. Main St. storefront, Peppe Steaks features Philly-style cheesesteaks, pork sandwiches, fries and water ice.
Joe’s father, Gaetano, 78, works at Peppe’s now, after closing down his own North Main Street restaurant — Caruso Brick Oven Trattoria at 424 N. Main St. — and “retiring.”
While the rolls used in the stores come from Liscio Bakery in New Jersey, all the sandwiches and fixings are made in-house. The steak shop has a walk-up window which stays open late on Friday and Saturday nights.
Both stores have inside and outside seating (weather permitting) and have been a favorite destination for fans of Souderton’s Third Friday events. Their menus are a “build your own.” Customers pick their roll, protein, cheese, sauce, toppings…etc. They also run daily special sandwiches.
Joe stated that there is friendly competition between the employees in both restaurants, as they are former co-workers at Caruso’s.
Joe’s parents Gaetano (Guy) and Rita Chiaro came to America from Naples Italy in 1968 and brought their work ethic and traditional Neapolitan Italian cooking style with them. Both made Caruso’s such a success in Souderton.
As his parents were welcoming their retirement, Joe had a rental property a few blocks down from the Caruso’s. When one of the renters did not pan out, he thought to himself, there is not a local burger place in town. That was the spark that led to The Burger Shop.
Joe also opened The Burger Shop by the Pool at Souderton’s Pool this season.
Joe’s down-to-Earth attitude, his long-standing reputation from his time at Caruso’s and the fresh-made sandwiches, has made Peppe Steaks another local restaurant destination for Souderton and its surrounding communities.