When Tamaqua's newest restaurant opens in the spring, the menu will feature homespun, all-American favorites with regional specialties as a bonus.
"We'll have something for everyone" says owner Yvonne Linton Sidella, a native of Georgia.
Sidella will bring Southern hospitality and a flare for good cooking when she and husband Richard, a native of Auburn, open the doors at what will be called Vonz Restaurant, located in the 1874 Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Station.
Sidella, of Drehersville, told the TIMES NEWS in a telephone interview Wednesday that she is excited about meeting the people of the Tamaqua area and welcomes the opportunity to reinstate the depot as the heart of activity in the busy downtown.
She already has met many of the volunteers of Tamaqua Save Our Station, of whom she speaks highly.
"We've developed a special relationship," says Sidella, a practicing Christian who sees the new opportunity as a calling from God.
Sidella says the site "is a beautiful building" with a rich heritage, something for which she has a strong sense of appreciation.
Sidella is finely attuned to American history. In fact, ancestors on her mother's side were slaves during America's earliest years, a background rich in culture.
Sidella is a graduate of the Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts, Lancaster. She has extensive experience in the corporate world, having been employed by two major firms, G. E. Plastics and Coca-Cola.
She expects to delight local taste buds with not only meat-and-potato entries, but will include lighter fare as well.
She said the theme will continue to be centered on the railroad. Patrons might see waitstaff wearing pressed white shirts and ties in the evening and perhaps a more casual appearance at lunchtime.
She also will incorporate all-new equipment and furniture, and is currently awaiting acquisition of a liquor license.
The restaurant will not be open on Sundays unless the community is sponsoring a special event, such as the Tamaqua Historical Society Heritage Festival or Summerfest.
Sidella is uncertain of the opening date since much depends on licensing and matters over which she has no control at this stage of the process.
The Sidellas are looking forward to becoming active in community affairs in Tamaqua and are excited to enter a new phase in their lives.
The restaurant at the depot has been unoccupied since December.