Montco Restaurant Makes use of Pandemic As Time For Full Renovation

WHITEMARSH, PA — As Rob Rosato walks via the not too long ago renovated Scoogi’s Italian Kitchen & Bar on Bethlehem Pike in Flourtown, it is clear he takes nice satisfaction within the enterprise that he has operated along with his household for the previous 31 years.

Rosato, who’s in his early 50s, is a restaurant man via and thru.

He loves the ambiance supplied at an area institution comparable to his, because it provides people in the neighborhood an opportunity to mingle over some good meals, drinks and firm.

“Lots of people come and hold on the bar ready for takeout,” Rosato stated. “It is nice.”

Scoogi’s was fortunate. It did not succumb to the pandemic, as many different meals companies did.

Really, Rosato determined to make use of the down time throughout widespread closures and stay-at-home orders to do one thing he wished to do for almost a decade — intestine and renovate.

“I had this envisioned about eight years in the past, redoing this,” Rosato stated.

On Wednesday, Rosato gave a Patch reporter an inside take a look at the house, which has good old-world touches comparable to uncovered brick, together with fashionable aptitude like a raised ceiling, new lighting fixtures and pretend wooden beams.

The constructing itself is kind of historic, and dates again to the 1700s.

And the enterprise actually is a household operation: Rosato’s spouse, Jennifer, co-owns the place, and their kids — Sophia, 24, Angelo, 22, Bobby, 20, and Thomas, 17 — have all pitched in in a roundabout way or one other through the years.

The truth is, Rosato saved some main development prices throughout the renovation since his brother, who was once a contractor, and his son Angelo, who research development administration in school, did the work utterly by themselves.

Development started in March 2020, proper across the begin of the pandemic. And the truth that companies have been pressured to shut for a time within the early days truly benefited Rosato, for the reason that closure would allow the development work to maneuver ahead with out having to run a full institution.

“As soon as we have been closed down, we have been in a position to do it since we weren’t serving any alcohol,” Rosato stated of the upgrades, which began within the bar space of the enterprise.

They did, nevertheless, nonetheless keep a superb takeout enterprise throughout this time.

One other improve was to show what was initially primarily a vestibule for foot visitors into an extra seating space.

Then there’s the skin seating — it was expanded a bit throughout the pandemic, however Rosato hopes laws enable for continued outside use since that appears to be a preferred providing on the eatery.

Scoogi’s affords a complete of 225 seats, which does not embrace the outside house.

Rosato stated outside seating is considerably restricted resulting from his restricted parking state of affairs, one thing he hopes to rectify sooner or later by acquiring a variance from township officers.

The renovation work itself was daunting, however Rosato is happy with the end result.

“I went via ten, twenty-five-yard dumpsters,” he stated, explaining simply how a lot work was achieved on the website.

For now, Rosato is simply counting his fortunate stars that the enterprise not solely did not shutter throughout the pandemic, however that it remained thriving.

“We have been very busy, thank God,” he stated.

Along with the fast household, there’s the “prolonged” household at Scoogi’s consisting of Lynda Engler, the restaurant supervisor, Froylon Castillo, the pinnacle chef, and all the waitstaff and kitchen employees who work to make the enterprise a hit.

Take a look at the Scoogi’s web site to study extra concerning the enterprise.