New eatery will Rock Lititz

By on October 24, 2018

There’s a new restaurant soon opening in Lititz.

Per Diem, owned and operated by Joshua and Jake Funk the brothers behind Annie Bailey’s of Lancaster, is poised for a mid-November opening inside Hotel Rock Lititz.

And if the menu is any indication, the restaurant is sure to “rock.”

“We had a few roadie focus groups, and they helped us through the design phase and really, it kind of evolved over time,” says co-owner Joshua Funk. “The name Per Diem was perfect, and overshadowed the other one we had first selected.”

The first meeting between he and members of the Rock Lititz community was serendipitous. As it turns out, A member of the Clair family was a fraternity brother of Funk’s at Penn State, and also grew up near the future restaurant owner. They would meet at college, and then when Funk moved back to Lancaster to buy Annie Bailey’s in 2013 with his brother, the two reconnected. While in college, Funk majored in hotel restaurant management. He then worked for 10 years at theNational Press Club. Later, Funk learned of a food component that was planned for the then-future Rock Lititz campus just north of the downtown. 

Thus, Gravie Kitchen, which is situated inside Pod 2 at Rock Lititz, was created in 2017.

The rest is history.

“When people come in, we want to meet or exceed their expectations,” Funk says. We want to make it funky and interesting, but also bring in that farm, comfort, homey and casual feel.”

“We’re trying to blend a myriad of flavors and bring it to the menu,” added Anastasio Santos, who will serve as Executive Chef for the upcoming restaurant.

“You’ll see an elevated chicken and waffles dish, but we’ll also do wings our own special way, maybe do our own take on them. We’ll also serve a ‘Tour Burger’, while the person next to you is having a steak. That’s the way the feel should be.”

“My whole background on cooking is ‘Is it something I want to serve my mom and grandma?’ Santos added, who first gained exposure to the restaurant industry at age 15, while working at a steak shop in Lancaster. “That’s where I get my appeal from,” he says.

After attending culinary school, he discovered that this career would be a perfect fit, and would further hone his craft at local eateries like Aussie and the Fox in downtown Lancaster. Per Diem is the third restaurant opening under his belt. The eatery also plans to incorporate as many local flavors as possible. “One of the things we target is we want to address 10 to 12 local farms that we can engage and bring in that local flavor,” Funk said. “Really take that farm to table aspect to this location.”

“We really want to focus on what the local Littiz community has to offer,” he added. “We want to accentuate what everybody in Lititz is doing already.”
House-thrown pizza will also compliment the menu.

The owners are targeting mid-November for the grand opening. Per Diem will offer room service for guests at the hotel. An event and banquet space will also be onsite.
We’ve found some great team members already,” Funk said. “It’s going to be a fun, interesting environment to work in. It’s been a trememdous opportunity that I’m really thankful for.”
Anastasio agrees.

“This is going to be a great ride. I’m excited.”

Cory Van Brookhoven is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your comments at cvanbrookhoven@lnpnews.com or 717-721-4423. 

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