Main Street Restaurant... hometown flavor meets the neighbors
By Beth Volpert Johansen
Imagine the diner in Mayberry, USA or perhaps Cheers without beer. Those scenes would be among the best ways to describe Main Street Restaurant in Snellville/Grayson/Loganville.
All three city names apply because the little area at the corner of Hwy 78 (Main Street) and Cooper Road is really claimed, in part, by all three. Regardless of the actual address, Main Street is reminiscent of a time when the local diner was the place to see and be seen-evidence of which is found on a daily basis just inside the door...come on in.
Established in 2004 in Snellville, Main Street recently relocated to the larger location and has seen business more than double. “It is cool to see all of my customers, some who didn’t know each other before eating here, greeting each other,” says owner, Billy Marchese. “I sit back and watch the customers’ relationships build-it’s wonderful.”
Billy and his wife, Angie, have a vested interest in knowing the neighborhood. They live in the Archer High School district where their youngest daughter, Abigail attends school. Their oldest daughter, Angela, is currently at UGA, so theirs is truly a hometown establishment where both girls help out during the busiest times. “We like to hire the students when we can,” says Billy. “Supporting the schools is important-good schools make good neighborhoods.” In addition to his own family, Billy says he can’t function without his right-hand girl, Gail. “She is the kingpin around here-my rock.”
There are the people who make a place, but what is a restaurant without good food? The answer is deep inside a bowl of beef tips with homemade gravy or staring at you from a gorgeous plate of Eggs Benedict. “On an awesome Sunday, we probably crack 800-900 eggs,” says Billy. “We put out a lot of old-fashioned stuffed omelets, biscuits and gravy, plus, a Main Street original named Moon Pie for the two brothers who first requested it.”
Other diner delights like reubens, corned beef hash, and hand-pattied burgers are certainly on the menu, but Billy also offers his signature pizza pies. “Pizza is what got me started in the business in 1997 and I like to hang on to those skills,” says Billy. “We make a great hand-tossed pizza here which is pretty popular.” The Wednesday night Pizza and Prayer kids at St. Oliver’s give a thumbs up to the G’Angelo’s pie.
In fact, just like any hometown diner, the local churches figure in pretty big with Billy’s clientele. The far wall of the restaurant is filled with framed pictures of the local churches. Any given Sunday is an ecumenical experience with regulars from many of the area houses of worship dining together in an after church fellowship. Like all of the relationships and connections found at Main Street, none was really planned. The place just has a sort of magic that combines people and connects them with conversation over coffee.
Operating a popular neighborhood establishment requires a very strong foundation. Knowing the food, enjoying the people, and loving the work are all part of the package. For Billy, the best advice came from his mom some time ago. The harder you work, the more it’s yours. That advice has always been a guiding light in his pursuit of the perfect restaurant. “I’m more than blessed,” says Billy. “I love this community.
Visit Main Street Restaurant on their Facebook page. Call (770) 985-9985 for catering or private functions.