The Rendezvous cheesesteak, a nearly 70-year Lancaster city staple that lives on in the memories of its many devoted customers, is coming back to reality this summer.
Closed since the last day of 2019, the former Rendezvous Steak Shop in the 200 block of West King Street, is being revived by relatives of the former owner who say they have been schooled on how to make cheesesteaks the Rendezvous way.
“We’re very excited to bring back the original Rendezvous steak sandwich,” said Ed Kaminski, a nephew of former Rendezvous owner Roger Gaspari, who is opening The Rendezvous Pizzeria & Steak Shop with his children Riley and Zoe.
Expected to debut by early August, The Rendezvous Pizzeria & Steak Shop will take a 2,000-square-foot street-level space on the first floor of Landis Place on King, a $28 million senior living complex scheduled to open in May.
Ed Kaminski’s mom, Helen, was a sister of Roger and Romolo Gaspari, who originally opened Rendezvous Steak Shop in 1951 in a spot across the street from its last location. Roger Gaspari became the shop’s owner after Romolo Gaspari died in 1971 and then worked there until its last day on New Year’s Eve in 2019.
Landis Place on King, a seven-story building with 79 apartments, is being built on site of the former Rendezvous Steak Shop at 239 W. King St., which was torn down for the construction. In September 2020, Roger Gaspari and his wife Birgitta sold the property for $575,000 to Landis Quality Living, which is developing Landis Place on King.
Kaminski, who is the director of Landis Quality Living, said his uncle shared the cheesesteak sandwich recipe with him and his children and even helped them make a few to ensure they were doing it right. Roger Gaspari will be at the new shop’s grand opening, Kaminksi said.
In addition to cheesesteaks and a variety of cold sandwiches, the new Rendezvous will feature pizza from a wood-fired oven that will be installed at the restaurant that will have inside seating for 45 and room for 15 on a patio.
The Rendezvous Pizzeria & Steak Shop will be managed by Riley Kaminski, who is currently the manager of a Pizzeria Vetri location in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood of Philadelphia. He also previously worked at Luca in Lancaster city. Zoe Kaminski, an investment banker living in New York City, has been helping with the planning for the shop.
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