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Local brothers carry on tradition at Joe’s Place

Most area residents are familiar with Joe’s Place, in Vail, as it has been a fixture in the community for 20 years.
In 1984 Joe Scalia was working as chef-manager of Bruno’s in Tipton, but even at that time the former owner of the Greenwood Steakhouse and Tyrone Steakhouse, said he looked forward to owning another restaurant in the area.
One of nine children growing up in the Chambersburg area, Scalia has been in the restaurant business since the age of 15 when he quit school to help his parents run two family restaurants.
“Once the restaurant business gets in your blood, it’s there for life,” Scalia said.
His dream of opening a restaurant in the Tyrone area came to be four years later in 1988, when he, along with his wife Pauline, opened LaScalia’s Restaurant in Vail.
For 16 years Scalia put his heart and soul into the restaurant, and was such a fixture at the restaurant, people often referred to the place simply as “Joe’s”.
Then, in 2004, Scalia decided to sell the restaurant, saying he had been blessed with many friends and happy memories over the years.
Two years later, Scalia bought back the restaurant. While the name changed to Joe’s Place at that time, the fine food, delicious desserts and excellent service all remained the same.
This past April, Scalia made the decision to pass the torch on to a pair of local brothers, Tom and Todd Templeton, who grew up not far from the restaurant.
Tom and Todd both agreed the restaurant is a great asset to the community and decided not to make many changes to the popular establishment.
“The menu is going to stay the same and Joe is still baking pies and making soup,” Tom said, noting they will continue to feature Joe’s award-winning peanut butter chocolate cheesecake.
He added, “All your favorite kitchen and wait staff will continue to be here also.”
One major change that did occur is diners will be able to eat at Joe’s Place six days a week as it is now open on Mondays. Also, a pasta bar is now available on Mondays between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Diners can check The Daily Herald and The Philipsburg Journal for other daily specials. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
One item that was added to the menu is homemade waffles. Breakfast waffles are available from 7 to 11 a.m. and dessert waffles are available all day.
The breakfast waffles are available with sides of sausage, bacon and eggs while the dessert waffles offer a variety of toppings.
Cover a Belgian waffle with a little powdered sugar or try pecan, blueberry, strawberry, apple cinnamon, chocolate chip or peach toppings.
Joe’s Place has always been a popular gathering spot for families, class reunions and many other special get-togethers. Groups are always welcome to reserve space in the dining room or enjoy the privacy of the banquet room, which comfortably seats 50. For more information on reservations, call 684-0770.
Joe’s motto has always been, and will continue to be, “You can’t get ahead by leaving God behind.”