When Mike Karasavas moved to Media more than 10 years ago he noticed something was missing from the area. Having grown up in the restaurant industry, he saw a need for something unique in his adopted hometown, but his parents, who had owned several establishments, encouraged him to “go to school and get away from it.”
Finally, seven years ago, despite having a “good job” as a pharmaceutical industry consultant, Karasavas began to hear the business calling his name. He and his brother bought a local restaurant then known as The Little Inn and set out to create that “something different” he thought the town needed.
Today the location houses Generations Restaurant, as well as a bar and pizza pub known as The Drawing Room. “When the renovations were conducted we decided to theme the establishment as a late 19th century American home,” Karasavas says. “Various rooms speak to a luxury home of that period: atrium, library, study, ballroom, game room and, of course, The Drawing Room.” While Generations Restaurant provides fine dining and event catering in a comfortable, home-like setting, The Drawing Room offers a place to enjoy more casual fare, outdoor dining, entertainment and even dancing. “Our pizza pub absolutely fills a need no other place does,” says Karasavas “People can come to dance or get dressed up to enjoy a date night.” At the same time, multiple rooms allow The Drawing Room to welcome families.
The Drawing Room offers entertainment five nights a week, including quizzo on Tuesdays, poker on Wednesdays, a DJ on Thursdays and Saturdays and live music on Fridays. “The DJs play a range from Motown and disco through current pop hits, while the live bands who come in typically play classic rock standards—songs the crowd will stop what they’re doing—to sing along to,” Karasavas says. Though the dance floor is a generous space, Karasavas plans to expand because the entertainment and dancing have been so successful. “We get a good bit of action and people having fun,” he says.
The bar area, which features three flat-screen TVs is a great place to watch the game. “We have crazy prices on certain featured items all-day, every-day,” Karasavas says. These include a daily domestic beer for $1.75 a bottle, a draught beer for $2 and mixed vodka drinks (“made with a quality selection of flavored vodkas”) for $4. During happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. anything guests buy—from cognac to beer—is buy one get one during weekdays. On Fridays during the summer, The Drawing Room hosts a free “Hot Dog BBQ” on its heated patio during happy hour.
Just this month the adjoining patio opened for the season. Karasavas calls it an extension of the pizza pub, where, diners can enjoy the outdoor ambiance, food, libations, entertainment and drink specials all with a cool breeze. “A lot of [other establishments’] outdoor dining areas are just that, with little more to it,” he says. “We have gone beyond that with potted plants, blueberry bushes, patio heaters, a grotto fountain, outdoor bar, barbecue grill and ambient music that makes for a dining experience that is unlike what you find elsewhere.”
Karasavas’ family has owned several pizza shops—in Northeast Philadelphia and New Jersey—so it should come as no surprise that The Drawing Room is best known for its pizza, which is made fresh daily. Anyone can make pizza, but the difference is “whether or not you make a commitment to what you are doing, to make fresh dough and sauce every day and to use only top quality ingredients,” he says. “It’s tough but people recognize that and it is worth it.” The Drawing Room menu also offers salads, wings and sandwiches, all of which are available through its delivery service—a popular draw for local businesses, especially during lunchtime.
For those wanting a slightly more upscale family and celebration dining experience, Generations Restaurant features a full menu for lunch and dinner. It also hosts a Sunday buffet brunch, which has won several local “best of” awards. Guests enjoy a carving station that serves roast beef, ham or pork—and prime rib on special occasions such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day—smoked salmon and peel-and-eat shrimp. Breakfast items including waffles, pancakes, French toast, omelets and eggs Benedict are made to order. “Your server will take an order for anything you want from that selection, you go to buffet and by the time you return to your seat, your order is brought out fresh and hot,” Karasavas says. “It is better than standing in front of a station or having the food sit out. This ensures top quality.”
Generations Restaurant is also a popular location to host baby and bridal showers, family celebrations, corporate events, even intimate wedding receptions. “The atmosphere lends itself to creating an environment that our patrons feel comfortable and welcomed in,” Karasavas says, “whether it is a six-person family birthday or a 60-person christening.” The ballroom seats up to 100 guests, and for special occasions like baby & bridal showers, the staff goes the extra mile to customize table arrangements to ensure each guest has a clear view of the guest of honor and open space to socialize. “Our staff makes the difference and our patrons really appreciate the personal touches,” adds Karasavas.
“We are specialists in these types of events,” Karasavas says. “Word of mouth referrals make me assured of that. … We don’t nit-pick details like room fees and extra hours. Many places get hung up on that. We have a package price; if you like it, come in and enjoy.”
Another popular option for catering—especially during graduation season—is Generations Restaurant’s off-site catering service. Customers can choose a menu package and place an order for the number of guests they expect. Items can then be picked up to be reheated at home or Generations can provide staff for a full-service meal.
Although they have the option of enjoying two distinct experiences, guests of Generations Restaurant and The Drawing Room can benefit from great food and an enjoyable atmosphere. “Whether they are looking to step out and enjoy a creative libation with their companion or have a traditional family dinner to celebrate a special occasion,” Karasavas says, “our aim is to knock your socks off with our quality, selection, service and great value.”
Generations Restaurant and The Drawing Room
9 State Road
Media, PA 19063
Photograph by Jody Robinson