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Passing Potato Peelers

The Lochel family sold Lochel's Family Restaurant to a pair of brothers, who will keep the eatery's name and menu offerings.

John Lochel may have sold his family-owned restaurant of 10 years, but he’s figured out a way to stay involved in the eatery’s future.

“I’m the landlord,” Lochel told Patch during an interview Monday, a few hours prior to the official transfer of to new owners, Tony Evangelista, 37, of Horsham and his 31-year-old brother, Paul Evangelista, of Abington. The Evangelistas will officially open today as the restaurant’s new owners. 

“He’s rooting for me to do well because I pay him every month,” Tony Evangelista quipped.

Neither party would release specifics of the lease. But, both sides shared that many things - including the restaurant’s name – will remain unchanged. With the exception of Lochel’s cooks, who will be replaced by the new owners, all of the eatery’s employees will remain, the Evangelistas said.

Paul Evangelista said he hopes to modernize the décor in the next eight months.

“We have a whole bunch of ideas that we want to do,” he said without offering specifics. 

At least for the time being, the fare and hours of operation will remain unchanged, they said.

The New York natives, who have worked as chefs of Roman Delight, the Anchor Inn in Wrightstown, and, most recently, Nonna Rosa in West Norriton, said they hope to “upgrade the lunch” and this summer expand the restaurant’s hours to serve dinner three nights a week.

“American continental with Italian flair,” is how Tony Evangelista described the type of dinner offerings planned. 

Despite their Italian roots and the desire to make homemade pasta and meatballs, Tony Evangelista stopped short of calling the food Italian. Also, pizza is out, he said.

“If we did that we did that, we’d put ’em all out of business,” he said of the handful of pizza shops already open in Hatboro.

As for new customers, as well as regulars who may be unsure of what to expect following the transition, Tony Evangelista said, “Once they taste my cooking I own them."

Breakfast specialties, including French toast made from bread baked at neighboring , will continue on as menu favorites, the brothers said. John Lochel pointed out that the bakery, which he bought about 25 years ago, would continue to be run by his son and daughter-in-law as it has for the last seven years.

Lochel, who said he has “semi-retired,” is pondering a move to the Poconos, where he’s looking to start “something with doughnuts.”

Of course, the hope is that the 80-seat restaurant in Hatboro which bears his name will continue to prosper in the way of 150 pounds of potatoes being peeled and fried for Sunday breakfasts - the busiest breakfast day of the week.

As the former owners sat with the new Lochel’s Family Restaurant owners on Monday morning, a special pin used for the potato peeler was passed to the Evangelista brothers much in the way that a key is passed to a new owner. 

Darlene Thomas May 01, 2012 at 11:38 AM
please do not change the decor----dont change a thing !!!!
Christine May 01, 2012 at 11:42 AM
maybe change the prices...it's definitely not the best priced breakfast in town.
Kim May 01, 2012 at 11:51 AM
The food hasnt been all that spectacular at Lochel's for a few years now. Maybe this change is good.
Colleen Mellor May 01, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Jean & John, Haven't been in for awhile (moved too far) but Lochel's was a staple in my life on many a morning which I valued on several levels! Whatever you have planned moving forward -- ENJOY, Colleen Tony & Paul, Congratulations; you've taken over a mainstay in Hatboro; I look forward to meeting you. Best of luck, Colleen
Denise Evangelista May 01, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Your going to do a great job and WOW them with your cooking...I've had your cooking!!! Best of Luck Paul and Tony. Can't wait to come to Lochel's.......Denise
Santa Contarino Kelly May 01, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Had a fun lunch there on 4/25/2012 with some face book friends.
Stacey Champion May 01, 2012 at 05:22 PM
looking forward to a great lunch there one day soon!
Diane Butler May 01, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Best of luck Paul &Tony ,Love you lots Mom & Jerry
R. Klein May 01, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Make it so a wheelchair can get in without having to go up over that piece of concrete at the entrace and make the restroomseelchair accesabile!
R. Klein May 01, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Make the entrace hanicapped/wheelchair accessable-no concrete lip-just a smooth reamp.for somebody in a wheelcahir Make the rest rooms accessable for somebody in a wheelcahir. So you can get in easily and turn around and get out easily.
Jill Goldsmith Ladov May 01, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Paul and Tony, Best of luck to both of you in your new venture. I work for a local trash and recycling company and would love to offer you a competitive quote on your services. Let's talk! jladov@iswaste.com Thanks, Jill

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