Recipe for Success
Success in the restaurant business requires great food, great service and devotion to your clients and your product. Jon Evearts, owner of Main Street Pizzeria and Grille in Norristown offers all three
by Michelle Garling


Although Main Street Pizzeria and Grille has been a local institution for the last 16 years, Jon Evearts took ownership of the business in 2007 while he was pursuing his degree in business at Temple University. He decided to put the skills he had learned to use in the real world. His education and previous restaurant experience have served him well. He understood the importance of establishing procedures. He immediately set about ensuring the restaurant was well managed and serviced by a courteous staff. His new business plan became a great success, leading to happy customers who always looked forward to returning for the great food. 


Today Main Street Pizzeria and Grille offers an extensive menu of pizza, sandwiches, salads and Italian specialties from its Norristown location, while also providing delivery to numerous local businesses and private residences as well as catering special events. New frequently requested items have also been added to the menu. Costs have been lowered to help patrons amid these current economic conditions. A classically trained Italian chef with 17 years of experience working in a well-known New York City eatery has been hired. Some of his signature dishes included penne a la vodka, crab penne and seafood fra diablo. 


Main Street Pizzeria and Grille has recently expanded its catering and menu services. “We have catered events for A.I.G. in King of Prussia, a fundraiser at the Valley Forge Radisson and a black-tie corporate holiday party where we served filet tips and shrimp cocktail,” Evearts says. Though most of these events feature buffet or family-style portions of their signature salads, pasta and sandwiches, Main Street Pizzeria and Grille will also provide wait-staff service and accommodates special-menu requests. “We can cater to suit any event. At a recent black-tie banquet [held for Gwynedd Dental Associates], we served lollipop lamb chops, chicken Marsala and bacon-wrapped scallops while dressed in tuxedos with white-glove service.” Other gourmet appetizers include antipasto, bruschetta, mini crab cakes and sautéed mussels or clams marinara. Main Street Pizzeria and Grille can also provide beer and wine for its catered events.


Among the most popular items served at corporate events, banquets and family parties are the pasta dishes such as lasagna, fettuccini alfredo, stuffed shells and macaroni and cheese. These are excellent accompaniments to favorite chicken or veal preparations such as Saltimbocca, Marsala and Oscar or stuffed tilapia. The corporate lunch accounts often request trays of Main Street Pizzeria and Grille’s delicious paninis—named for local bridges such as the Tacony and the Whitman—along with hoagies and fresh salads. The Buffalo chicken wings are also extremely popular, according to Evearts.


“Some of these accounts are from as far away as Chester and Media,” he says. “We also cater many local festivals and fundraisers, including those for Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church and the Police Athletic League.” Evearts is grateful for the community’s support of Main Street Pizzeria and Grille and invests back into the community through donations to local charities and neighborhood afterschool programs. 


In the last year, he has been improving the restaurant, providing better amenities, lighting, fixtures and décor. There is even discussion of an expansion, which may include outdoor seating and additional locations. In addition to the ambition Evearts exhibits and the friendly service Main Street Pizzeria and Grille provides (where he knows most of his customers by first name), the primary reason customers choose this restaurant is the excellent quality of the food it serves. “For now, though, quality and customer service remain my first priority,” he says.


“A lot of people love our salads,” Evearts adds. “Our produce comes from local vendors. Everything is prepared in house and is always fresh.” This includes the homemade sauces and pesto used in its dishes and the hand-breading of chicken or veal for its parmesan. The meats and breads used for Main Street Pizzeria and Grille’s steaks and “Fat Boy” burgers are always fresh—never frozen—and also come from local suppliers. The steaks are served on seeded brioche rolls from a local Conshohocken bakery so they are always fresh and delivered daily. The burgers are stuffed with unique ingredients such as avocado and blue cheese crumbles and served on honey-glazed wheat rolls. Its pizzas have been known to be the best pizza in the area, using only homemade sauces.


Main Street Pizzeria and Grille offers signature sandwiches including local favorites such as the Rosa—sautéed white-meat chicken breast smothered in barbeque sauce, topped with onions and Cheez Whiz—“Goomba’s” roast pork and the Norristown favorite known as the Zep, historically known as the “working man’s Italian hoagie,” featuring salami, provolone, tomato, onion and seasonings. Its pizzas too include both traditional favorite and unique combinations. “Most of these recipes are our own creations,” Evearts notes, and these creations have quickly become crowd favorites.  Main Street Pizzeria and Grille’s pizzas and steaks have been voted “Best” in several local contests.


Whether its customers are craving a local favorite, looking for a fresh lunch or are in need of a company to cater their next personal or corporate event, Main Street Pizzeria and Grille will always serve them with a smile. Main Street offers delivery between 11:00 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.


Evearts states, “We know what gives our food that ‘Old World Italian flavor’ with a New World twist; it’s our recipes. Our food is delicious, and I invite everyone to come and check out our food and restaurant. I’m sure you will agree.”


Main Street Pizzeria and Grille

407 West Main Street, Norristown



Rob Hall is a photographer based in Plumsteadville.