Pepper Theo Café & Events has opened at Lancaster Theological Seminary where it is initially serving a lunch menu and offering outdoor-only seating. A dinner menu and indoor seating will be added soon.

Pepper Theo is situated in Dietz Hall Refectory on the seminary campus at 555 James St., where Gypsy Kitchen was housed until December. The new café operates with a similar business model as Gypsy Kitchen, serving lunches that are convenient for students and staff while also setting up the space for dinner service and catered events.

Thursday and Friday dinners are expected to begin soon while inside dining will be added in a little over a month. There’s room inside for nearly 130 people and outside tables set up for around 25.

Pepper Theo is owned by Joe Hess and Christine Hess who also operate Cracked Pepper Catering. The two Hesses are not related.

The menu at Pepper Theo includes a variety of salads, sandwiches and desserts, with an emphasis on healthy and vegetarian options. Joe Hess describes it as an “eclectic twist on Lancaster,” citing The Pork Jawn sandwich made with shaved, roasted pork as well as a P.L.T, which is a version of a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich that swaps portabella mushrooms for bacon.

Pepper Theo uses the circa-1916 Tudor Style hall that served as the original dining room for the seminary. A new kitchen was recently installed in the building and the seminary also recently upgraded the hall’s HVAC system.

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