As of July 1, Bradford's Philthy Philly's Cheesesteaks & Poutinerie is under new management.
New owners, brothers Mo and Saleem Alfawargreh and friend Vlad Obibok, are looking forward to welcoming back customers to the restaurant and providing a new experience.
The trio owns three other franchises in London, Cambridge, and Waterloo and is hoping to bring the same success to Bradford.
"For me, it's about being humble, respectful and just being great with people," "Mo told BradfordToday at the restaurant's soft opening on Tuesday afternoon.
When they learned the Bradford franchise was up for sale, right away they wanted to invest. When the restaurant first opened in town last year, it had raving reviews, but somewhere along the lines, something went amiss, as negative reviews began circulating on local social media pages.
"I did a lot of research on it and a lot of people had good experiences and a lot of people had poor experiences," said Mo, who is determined to turn things around and bring back customers. "I want to take it to the next level."
Mo says he has already noticed what part of the business needs to be worked on in order to make things better.
"I know how good our food is, I stand by it, so it's really getting the people in here to try it and see what it's all about," he said. "I think in the restaurant business, it's a difficult thing, but what it is, is you have to be genuine and respectful."
Mo used to live in Newmarket managing the L.A. Fitness centres in East Gwillimbury and Aurora before transitioning over to the restaurant industry.
Without any previous food industry experience, he simply jumped right in and brought his brother and best friend along for the ride.
They decided to invest in the Philthy Philly's franchise, which is known for its Philadelphia-style menu, from cheesesteak sandwiches to curded cheesed poutines because they loved the food and wanted to share their excitement about it with the community.
When asked what makes their food stand out from the competition, Mo says it's the authentic taste, straight from Philadelphia.
Their steaks and bread come all the way from Philadelphia, from Philly's Best farm and Amorosos Bakery, respectively.
"It's real authentic Philly Cheesesteak, that's something we're very proud of," added Saleem.
The friends opened their first location in Waterloo in late 2019, conveniently near area universities with a heavy student population.
But it wasn't easy getting started; the first few years of business were a struggle.
"We were barely making any money," said Mo, admitting he almost had to file for bankruptcy. But thankfully, things quickly turned around, and the eatery eventually became a hot spot for students, allowing the owners to go on to expand to Cambridge and London in 2021.
With the pandemic and the increased demand for online ordering, Mo says 80 per cent of his business at his other locations comes from third-party online ordering apps.
"The world is changed, where the world likes convenience," he said.
Mo says they have been successful at running all their current locations, with plans of opening another one in Windsor this fall. Each location has its own hours and menus that fit its clientele. For example, their London store operates 24/7 and even offers a breakfast menu and a funnel cake poutine.
On Saturday, they will be offering 'Smash Burgers' which were introduced to their other location menus last year, where the burgers are cooked on a high-temperature grill, and "smashed" thin until a crust is formed around the patty.
"And that's where the flavour is," said Mo.
The new owners are still getting a feel for the Bradford community, but so far they say they are loving its "small-town" vibe.
"When you have a place such as this, you can't help but feel good," said Saleem.
The new owners are excited to be in Bradford and welcome guests to come and try their food.
Philthy Philly's is located in the West Park Plaza at 450 Holland St. West.
The owners plan to host a larger grand opening later this month. Follow them on social media @philthyphillysbradford