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DeStarr’s Restaurant & Bar West Chester, PA – Since 1935! Bill is The Star Here!

Posted on: February 11, 2017


  • address: 112 E Gay St West Chester, PA 19380
  • phone: (610) 692-4160
  • Note: breakfast, lunch and bar

Keep your eyes peeled for the sign for DeStarr’s Restaurant and Bar on the 100 block of East Gay Street in West Chester or you may miss a “hidden in plain sight” Retro-Roadmap-worthy place in this hip and historic borough of brick.

DeStarr's Restaurant Bar West Chester Pennsylvania PA Retro Roadmap

See what I mean about the brick?!

Started in 1935 by George DeStarr (the Americanization of his Greek name, thanks to Ellis island) as the Gay Street Grill, current owner Bill “Vasilios” Stavropoulos is George’s nephew. Bill began working at his uncle’s eatery in 1951 after emigrating from Greece to the US in his teens.

DeStarr's Restaurant & Bar West Chester PA - Retro Roadmap

Bill’s uncle generously donated a building he owned to help the hospital, and this plaque was on it for decades.

Open for just breakfast and lunch, if you sit at one of the vintage cantilevered swivel stools at the counter you may be able to watch your meal be prepared on the grill in the window.

DeStarr's Restaurant Bar West Chester Pennsylvania PA Retro Roadmap

Some Yelpers opine that the decor needs updating, but Mod Betty declares the vintage ambiance is integral to the charm of this little lunch place.

They serve more than just short-order grill fare – there are plenty of Greek specialties, home-made soups and roasted turkey “just like Thanksgiving” created in the kitchen in back. Folks rave about their homemade Greek yogurt, gyros and club sandwiches.

DeStarr's Restaurant Bar West Chester Pennsylvania PA Retro Roadmap

I had breakfasted moments earlier elsewhere, but could not resist getting a little something, so I opted for a classic BLT.

Speaking of out back – don’t forget to peek into the back bar area to see where the first liquor license granted in town after prohibition is still in use. Who am I to judge if you want a hair of the dog, or a quick nip at noon? 😉
DeStarr's Restaurant Bar West Chester Pennsylvania PA Retro Roadmap

If you’re truly inquisitive, ask Bill to see the murals of Greece painted on the walls in the large dining room adjacent to the luncheonette area.

DeStarr's Restaurant Bar West Chester Pennsylvania PA Retro Roadmap

In a college town with so many trendy options for artisanal sandwiches and fancy fare, I find it a comfort to have a simple sandwich and a cup of soup while sitting at the formica counter or in one of the tufted colonial-style booths.

DeStarr’s is small enough that you may find yourself easily in conversation with your fellow diners, or if you’re lucky with Bill himself:
DeStarr's Restaurant Bar West Chester Pennsylvania PA Retro Roadmap

He’s got plenty of stories to tell, so take some time and learn a little while you’re eating. This would never happen at a chain, so consider yourself lucky.

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  • very nice! I wouldn’t change a thing 🙂

    • I hear you! I often say that so many of the places I write about really could just use “a good scrub” and then they’d be perfect!

  • Matt Frederick

    WOW!! So far it’s three for the month! I grew up in Delaware County, Pa. and for years, my family used to go to Weinrich’s bakery every Sunday after church for donuts. Second, I went to the High School just down the road from The Hungry A. Occasionally we would go have lunch there during our lunch period. Thirdly, I went to West Chester University and DeStarr’s was a place me and my friends would go eat and have some drinks after our classes were done. I love this site!!

  • Matt Frederick

    WOW!! So far it’s three for the month! I grew up in Delaware County, Pa. and for years, my family used to go to Weinrich’s bakery every Sunday after church for donuts. Second, I went to the High School just down the road from The Hungry A. Occasionally we would go have lunch there during our lunch period. Thirdly, I went to West Chester University and DeStarr’s was a place me and my friends would go eat and have some drinks after our classes were done. I love this site!!

    • Glad to hear we’re hitting some of your fave hot spots Matt – hope you’re able to revisit them sometime soon! I’m definitely digging into PA now as I’m writing a Retro Roadmap guidebook, with the Philly area being my next target 🙂

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