Hungry lunchers looking for a fresh cheesesteak sandwich from one of the most popular sources in town will have to go a little bit further than they have for the past two decades.
After months of preparation and renovation, Steak & Hoagie Factory has moved around the corner from its original home on Street Road to its new location at 189 York Road, next to the A Paw Above pet grooming center.
It was a tough decision for owner Dave Christy to take his talents to York Road after opening the original Steak & Hoagie Factory 22 years ago on Street Road, but economics and the surrounding geography forced his hand.
"I had an unreasonable landlord who kept raising the rent significantly higher than the nail salon next door," said Christy, "That and the construction of the Sleepys blocked my visibility. We used to stick out like a sore thumb until that came along."
Since it first opened in 1990, Steak & Hoagie Factory quickly established itself as a top destination for the kind of greasy steak sandwiches craved by hungry patrons in Philadelphia and the suburbs. The business expanded to as many as nine locations before economic troubles brought the number down to five restaurants, including Doylestown, Abington, Penndel and Somerton.
With countless avenues for eaters to get their cheesesteak fix, such as Slacks, the Works and all the pizza places in-between, Christy chalks up his success to two basic things, the rolls and customer loyalty.
"Everyone always talks about the rolls," said Christy. "They really set us apart from the rest. And people in this area are passionate about their sandwiches. They find a place they like and stick with it forever."
Christy has no problem predicting that the same loyalty that earned Steak & Hoagie Factory the Warminster Patch Reader's Choice for best sandwich will follow the move around the corner. Unlike the previous location, he owns the building, removing any conflicts with the landlord. The upstairs space has been used by Christy and his staff for business operations over the past few years.
"I didn't think we would be able to do the renovations necessary to put the store downstairs," said Christy. "It needed a lot of work. But at the end, I really didn't have a choice."