Philadelphia is just a hop, skip and a jump away so it's not hard to track down a good cheesesteak, but there's a new store in the Dover Mall that might just save you some gas money.
Charley's Philly Steaks opened up in the Dover Mall at the beginning of March, and this location is the first ever in Delaware according to Charley's corporate offices.
According to Charley's employee Raymond Eskaros, the store went through a month-and-a-half-long renovation before being ready to open.
The first 10 days of the store's opening were jam packed with special offers.
"We didn't have a big opening, but we had a person from corporate come and for 10 days we gave special offers for our first customers and special rates for drinks and subs," said Eskaros.
Charley's, like Cinnabon or Auntie Anne's, is a brand that is found primarily in malls with very few standalone stores.
"From the beginning of Charley's, it was the plan to get stores in malls," said Esakaros. "The corporate [officials] for Charley's had no interest in standalone stores. They recently got a few standalones but most are still in malls."
According to the store's owner, the Dover Mall seemed like a particularly good area.
"It's a very busy area," said franchisee Amgad Attblla.
Adding a Charley's to the food court is just one piece of a plan that the mall has been working on.
"We have been reaching out to customers to find out what they want," said Tricia Southard, director of marketing and business development at the mall. "We're trying to make sure that we have a variety of food options. Whether customers want healthy or if they want to splurge there's something for everyone."
A second Charley's store is slated to open in Newark later this year.
According to Eskaros, the store's best sellers are the Philly cheesesteak, which is served the classic way with thin sliced steak, grilled onions and provolone. The chicken California is also a good seller. It consists of chicken, ranch dressing and provolone. Aside from steaks, the restaurant also offers fries loaded with everything from cheese to bacon and ranch dressing. They also offer salads topped with plain, teriyaki or buffalo chicken. They also offer plain, strawberry and kiwi lemonade.
According to Eskaros, the store's 12 employees crank out sandwiches between the hours of 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Sunday.
"I like working here because it's fun. Everybody has fun together," said Lacy Barone, an employee ate Charley's. "We make great food and we make people happy."