One of the most frequent questions in any relationship is “where do you want to eat tonight?”
Husband and wife business owners Judy Morley and Steve Burton aim to cut the tension by transforming the former Pike building on Baltimore Pike, Cumberland Township, into a food hall.
The couple became official owners of the property on Wednesday and will now focus on implementing plans they have been crafting for months. If the global supply chain crisis does not slow them down, an April 2023 opening is planned.
SavorHood Gettysburg will include several fast casual food vendors, including Mr. G’s ice cream, Tilford’s Wood Fired Pizza, Liquid Art Brewing Company (formerly Roy Pitz), Tex’s BBQ, CJ’s Seafood, and Bender’s Potatoes. Burton and Morley are still searching for taco, gourmet grilled cheese and chicken vendors and are in discussions with a dessert vendor.
“What restaurateurs are finding is one thing is their niche,” Burton said. “They do one thing and they do it well.”
SavorHood customers will order food at their vendor of choice, take a seat and receive a text message when their order is ready. Burton said all orders will take about ten minutes so groups ordering from different vendors can eat together.
“The idea for the look and the food is to be community-based,” Morley said. “We shy away from the words ‘food court’ because when you think of food court you think of national chains. All of the concepts need to be chef-driven, really good food with fresh ingredients.”
All owners will attend SavorHood Academy so the customer experience is similar throughout the building. The class will be conducted by Morley, who earned a master’s degree in consciousness studies/leadership from Holmes Institute.
“What we don’t want is people saying ‘you know, I love everything there except for that pizza guy; he’s rude,’” said Burton, who owns Tilford’s Wood Fired Pizza.
Burton and Morley plan to gut the interior of the building, add garage-style doors so it can be used for indoor and outdoor seating and divide the banquet room so it can serve as one large or two smaller rooms. The common seating area will consist of large and small tables and about 200 seats to accommodate any size group. Morley said the ceiling will be exposed and wood accents and industrial lighting will be added to give the building an “industrial farmhouse design.”
Two vendors, Mr. G’s and the dessert option, will have interior and exterior windows so patrons do not need to enter the building. A playground will be added to the north side of the property. Parking will be available on-site and across the highway. One of Morley and Burton’s business partners, Brian Zoeller of Chambersburg, is a contractor who will oversee construction.
An advisory board consisting of Tammy Myers of Destination Gettysburg, Max Felty of Gettysburg Tours, Adams County Commissioner Marty Qually, Nicole Bucher from Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium, Brad Shaffer from Sites Realty, and Sarah Dull of Comfort Suites will offer feedback.
“They cover a wide spectrum of Gettysburg so they will be able to say how we are affecting their particular spectrum of the business world,” Burton said. “They will also be able to say as a group ‘hey, I heard a complaint about this’ or ‘you might want to improve upon this.’”
Burton said he heard about The Pike’s heyday when it was used for weddings, class reunions and civic organization meetings. He hopes the community’s enthusiasm for the property returns.
“We are keeping the banquet halls. With nine to ten savor stations operating out of there, a customer can put all types of packages together,” Burton said.
Burton and Morley relocated to Mount Joy Township four years ago from Colorado, where they operate Tilford’s Wood Fired Pizza, which has locations in three food halls similar to SavorHood Gettysburg. This will be Burton and Morley’s first venture into food hall operation, but they hope to expand the brand in future years.
“There is a need in Gettysburg for places where tourists and tour buses can get in and out quickly. There is also a need for places where families can have a lot of choices, but that’s not our sole focus,” Morley said. “We don’t cater to tourists in Denver, we cater to the local business people. We see that as being a significant piece of what we are doing here.”
Burton and Morley also purchased 1015 Baltimore Pike, which connects to the Pike property. Dubbed “phase two,” they plan to eventually add steel buildings, fire pits and walking paths to enhance SavorHood Gettysburg’s seating options.
Featured image caption:
Mount Joy Township residents Judy Morley and Steve Burton are the new owners of the former Pike restaurant. The couple and their business partners will transform the property into a food hall expected to open spring 2023. [Alex J. Hayes]
Alex Hayes, Consulting Editor, has spent almost two decades in the Adams County news business. He is heavily involved in the community through his work at the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County and volunteer roles at the Rotary Club of Gettysburg, Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, the United Way of Adams County, and Healthy Adams County. Alex is also a freelance writer for several other publications in South Central Pennsylvania.