Casale’s: Feeding downtown for decades

Casale’s Sub Shop, 13 W. Fourth St., has been a staple in downtown Williamsport since the late 1970s, and with fast courteous service and good food, it continues to thrive today.

It’s this kind of service that keeps its customers coming back, the owners said.

“Our business is regulars and repeat customers. We know our customers well and we’re here to serve them,” said Susan Vollman, owner of the restaurant.

Casale’s was started in 1979 by Roger Casale. In 1986 it was purchased by Sylvia Clopp, Vollman’s mother, who worked in the restaurant since 1980, and it has remained in the family since.

Vollman, who has taken over as owner of the business this past year, said she’s worked with her mother at the shop since she was 18 years old, and after going off to college and starting a career, she always seemed to want to come back to her mother’s business.

Vollman said she and her mother, who still works at the restaurant, are a “well-oiled machine.”

“It’s a fun business,” Vollman said. “It’s a wonderful dynamic. I’ve worked with my mom since I was young.”

But the family doesn’t stop there as Vollman’s aunt, Sandy Polcyn, also helps out along with Chris Debrody, who Vollman said is”like family” since she’s worked at the shop for about 25 years.

When asked the types of food the restaurant serves, Vollman said “Everything. Anything you can think of.”

She explained that subs, cheesesteaks, pizza, grill food and the homemade soup by Clopp, who Vollman said still is the “heart and soul” of the restaurant, keeps customers coming back on a consistent basis.

Vollman explained that visiting the restaurant is “like walking into their own kitchen” for customers.

“They know what they’re going to get,” she added.

And although Casale’s has been feeding the community for more than 30 years, it recently underwent a remodel thanks to Heath Durrwachter, who purchased the building Casale’s and neighboring businesses are located.

Durrwachter explained that while doing the remodel, he tried to keep anything that could tie it back to its historical roots.

“If it’s there, we restore it,” he said.

From a copper finish on the front of the restaurant to glass blocks lining the top of it, Vollman said she’s enjoying the new look to the building. And the customers are noticing it too.

“People come in and ask us if we’re a new business,” Vollman said of the new look to the restaurant.

Vollman said she hopes to continue having such loyal customers, some who stop in most days of the week, but also is looking at expanding hours of operation.

She added that nothing is imminent but that she hopes to eventually stay open later for a longer dinner crowd.

“I hope and pray that I’m able to continue what my mom’s worked to build,” Vollman said.