ORLANDO’S celebrating 60 years of food & family
Orlando’s Restaurant, once known simply as Orlie’s, first opened its doors in April 1962.
Now celebrating its 60th, the family-owned business is just starting to plan events to celebrate its anniversary.
Orlando Noviello opened the original Orlie’s at 33 North Main Street in Muncy.
It was the first area restaurant to introduce pizza and submarine sandwiches.
An eventual need for greater space and more parking led to a series of relocations.
That resulted in triumphs and tribulations, including a flood, a failed ristorante, the acquisition of a liquor license and new properties, and the addition of a market and deli on site.
Now located at 8 South Main Street in downtown Muncy, Orlando’s has 18 employees, with one, Kristina Covert, working as a server for over 40 years.
“We are lucky that our employees are willing to pitch in for any area of work here. We also have a slew of college students that come back to work during the summers and holidays. Family willingly pitches in, and so do friends in a pinch,” says Nichole Coppes, Orlando’s daughter and Orlie’s general manager.
Nichole’s brother, Matthew Noviello, is the owner of the restaurant since their father’s retirement a few years ago.
Orlando’s, with a seating capacity of 140, has an ambience that makes the restaurant a comfortable place to sit, dine and talk.
Customers’ favorite entrees include Greco Roman Penne.
The creation marries mushrooms, eggplant, asparagus, Kalamata olives, zucchini, shallots and garlic which are cooked in a plum tomato sauce with olive oil and topped with feta.
Another fav is Seafood Fra Diablo, which combines shrimp, scallops, mussels and clams tossed in a spicy marinara over linguine.
Matthew says of Chefs Andrew Knott and Taylor Miller, “(They) make a great team.”
Mark Wethorhold is on the grill station and expedites on weekends.
Coppes says, “Matthew is a talented chef and is always there to saute or fill in if needed. As the owner, he works alongside all of the employees.”
Coppes crafts homemade pasta and all desserts, and as manager, also fills in wherever needed.
Her sweet creations include vanilla bean cheesecake, carrot cake, Italian cookies, white chocolate cranberry biscotti (see recipe below) and several other delights.
Orlando can often be found having lunch at the restaurant with his long-time friend, Jim Colburn, and conversing with customers.
“He occasionally pitches in to help me make the pasta,” Coppes says.
Good customer service began with Orlando himself at Orlie’s back in 1962.
“He was always there helping customers and employees, listening, advising about food. We strive hard to always continue that kind of service. Customers tell us they feel appreciated and they appreciate our food,” Matthew offers.
Coppes adds, “We’ve noticed that over the years we have become a part of people’s traditions. We have celebrated with our customers from baptisms through graduation, sweet 16 to weddings, anniversaries and funerals. We are grateful and honored that so many people have allowed us to be part of their family.
“And through Covid, our customers were so supportive, and we’d often hear, ‘We can’t wait to come in and eat and talk.'”