Food Factory readies for grand opening

A new restaurant catering to the Zerega Industrial business community will be arriving on the scene to provide gourmet food for all kinds of palates.

The Food Factory, located at 1315 Commerce Avenue at Waterbury Avenue near the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles, promises to bring the kind of quality foods found in Manhattan lunch spots to the Bronx at a fraction of the price.

The owners, Bronx natives Gene Limongelli and Tom Vlahakis, plan to open the 5,000 square foot eatery with seating area shortly after the July Fourth holiday celebration.

“We’re fairly certain we are going to open the week of July 7,” proprietor Tom Vlahakis said, “so the fireworks will still continue in the Bronx.”

The restaurant promises to become the next big thing in a slowly emerging Westchester Square area, and will have plenty of customer parking.

Two chefs, in addition to short order cooks, will be on duty. Chefs Ralph Jean-Simon and Patrick George plan to prepare a pan-American cuisine encompassing all cultures. Both men have training from culinary schools, and experience working in name-brand hotel kitchens.

“We are going to have something for everyone – upscale foods at reasonable prices,” Jean-Simon, a Johnson and Wales graduate, said. “We are going to be able to provide food for whatever clientele enters our doors, and will cater to any culture — Italian, Asian, Caribbean, Mediterranean, and others.”

The Food Factory plans to initially operate between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., and offer full breakfast and lunch menus, as well as offer pre-prepared dinners to go.

“My guess will be that our pre-prepared dinner business will eventually lead to us staying open later for dinner as well,” Vlahakis noted.

The restaurant includes a “toss salad bar,” all the rage in Manhattan, where a chef will create a salad before your eyes, as well as a deli case with pre-made Food Factory ‘Signature Sandwiches’ and paninis.

There will even be a Sabrett hot dog stand inside the restaurant, with gourmet wieners including “The Deputy Dog” which has chopped Jalapenos and Corn Salsa, and “The Bull Dog,” with spicy sausage with peppers, onions, and shoestring fries with chipotle mustard.

Burgers will also be available, including a ‘Cajun Burger’ and a ‘Jalapeno Jack Burger,’ along with more traditional American fare.

The restaurant will also feature a complete newsstand with magazines and newspapers.

“While we are starting with a Monday through Saturday schedule,” Vlahakis explained, “I would also guess that eventually we will have a morning ‘after church’ breakfast spread on Sundays.  We’ll see where the business takes us.”

Zerega, industrial community, Food Factory, 1315 Commerce Avenue, Waterbury Avenue, Department of Motor Vehicles, Gene Limongelli, Tom Vlahakis, eatery, Sabaret

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