LEBANON COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — A long-time, family-owned Italian sandwich shop in Lebanon will soon reopen under new ownership.
The long-time Gus Deraco’s Italian Sandwiches first opened its doors in Lebanon back in September of 1978 and was owned and operated by Gus Deraco and his family. Starting in 1995, Gus’s daughter Sandy Wentzel and his son Tony Deraco took over the family business until Tony’s departure in 2014.
Sandy would remain the owner of the family business until March 2023, following her announced retirement.
abc27 news reported back on March 10 that Gus Deraco’s would be closing its doors on March 31. In addition to the business’s closure, the property was listed for sale.
Many believed this to be the last chapter in the story of Gus Deraco’s Italian Sandwiches, but Gus’s youngest daughter, Traci Ginnona and her husband Ron Ginnona, decided to step in to help keep this local legacy alive.
According to Traci, ownership of Gus Deraco’s was officially transferred to her and her husband on April 28. Traci was born and raised with her family in Lebanon County and Ron grew up in Chester County.
“Ron and I do a lot of entertaining in our free time – when we saw the family business go up for sale we knew we wanted to keep the tradition of what my dad started alive,” Traci explained. “My parents started this business and over the years I have always wanted a hand in [the family business].”
Since taking ownership of Gus Deraco’s, Traci and Ron have been making plans to update the establishment while still maintaining its long history. According to Traci and Ron, some of the planned changes consist of fresh paint, new floors, and updated décor.
In addition to a few cosmetic changes, the new owners also plan on updating their website and expanding the eatery’s hours of operation. According to Gus Deraco’s website, its previous hours of operation were Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Though the new owners of the family business plan on making a few small changes, they also plan on keeping many of the former traditions implemented, such as their menu favorites and their breakfast hours.
According to Ron and Traci, they plan on making some more surprise announcements regarding Gus Deraco’s in the near future. To stay up to date, you can follow them on Facebook by clicking here.
The new owners plan to reopen the Cumberland Street location in mid to late June 2023.
“It feels a little weird but we are really excited about [opening],” Ron said.
“For me – it’s my parent’s business, I mean it’s what made my father famous in Lebanon,” Traci added. “It just feels right and I am excited for this change and to keep the legacy alive. I am also excited to be more involved in the local community.”
abc27 news will keep you updated as more information becomes available.