The flavor of the East Coast is on its way to southwest Rochester.
Joe Phillips is cooking up a new restaurant called Jersey Jo’s to serve up “authentic Philly Cheesesteaks and more.”
He hopes to be able to open Jersey Jo’s by mid-July at 187 16th Ave. SW. Cousin’s Subs is moving out of that 1,600-square-foot spot in the Shoppes on Second commercial center at the end of June. That address will put him just a couple blocks away from Mayo Clinic’s Saint Marys Hospital and many hotels.
Phillips, a software programmer who will continue that profession remotely from the restaurant, said this new project started very simply.
“I couldn’t get a cheesesteak anywhere around here that I liked,” he said. So after years of looking, he finally decided to open a place of his own.
Phillips plans to “import” many of the ingredients for the Jersey Jo’s signature cheesesteak sandwiches from the East Coast to create as authentic of a flavor as possible.
In addition to Philly cheesesteaks, Jersey Jo’s also will serve cold hoagie sandwiches, chicken wings and a trio of specialty burgers. The meat will be sliced on-site, deli-style for each of the made-to-order sandwiches.
While he has long worked in the technology industry, Phillips knows his way around a kitchen from years in restaurants during college.
Phillips’ vision for Jersey Jo’s is to create a laid-back place like the small mom-and-pop corner shops he remembers from growing up in New Jersey.
“I want to offer a nondiscriminatory place for people to come and feel welcome while they have some good food,” he said.
He expects to have about eight people on staff. — Jeff Kiger