Starting June 28, at 448 Perry Highway will have new owners, a new name, but nearly everything else will remain the same.
After 32 years in the West View restaurant business, current owners Tom and Gail Weisbecker are calling it quits. Well, actually, HE is retiring.
“I have to get a job, he’s making me get a job because I’m younger, a LOT younger,” said Gail with a smile on her face.
Tom wants to reassure his customers that very little will change. “The people that are taking over are going to be doing the same thing,” he said. “We’re training them to do everything we do so nothing’s changing.”
The future owners, Sue Affolder and Bobby Dominek, are quick to confirm that. “Nothing is going to change,” he said. “You know the saying, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”
Affolder and Dominek decided not to pay the licensing fee to use the Isaly’s name, but the new name will sound very familiar. They’re planning to call their new store I Shall Always Love You Sweetie, for which the word Isaly’s would be an acronym.
For Tom and Gail, the goodbyes have been emotional.
“It was a cry fest here yesterday,” said Gail when the word got out. And more customers were stopping by today just to say thanks and shake their hands.
“I’m gonna miss the people, all the knuckleheads,” Tom said with affection. “I ain’t gonna miss the work.”
The work began at 5:30 a.m. most mornings and the Weisbeckers have been dreaming of retirement for quite a while.
“It’s been in the works for a couple of years, we knew we would do it when things were paid off and I was eligible for social security,” Tom said. “We’ve been doing this since 1980.”
Tom and Isaly’s go way back. “I think I’m the last person working in an Isaly's who worked for the original company. I worked for 11 years for Isaly’s. I actually worked in the Fox Chapel store, and then I managed a number of Sweet William restaurants for the company. That’s where I got the training for the restaurant and deli,” he said.
Tom said he might do some volunteer cooking, but only after enjoying some time off. “Go fishing, I do have a boat up at Lake Arthur. I’m going to watch my grandson, that’s what I want to do,” he said.
Tom and Gail's last day of business is Friday. The store is scheduled to reopen the following Thursday, June 28.
Do you have fond memories of Isaly's in West View, or do you simply want to wish Tom and Gail good luck. Tell us in comments below.