Small Business Spotlight: Philly Steak Subs

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IMG_0799 - Brooke Cope-388998-edited

Lisa and Richard Cope are the owners of Philly Steak Subs. The restaurant and bar has been serving food to both vacationers and locals for roughly 18 years, and the Copes are the second owners. This summer marks their third season running the show.

Their restaurant serves cheesesteaks, burgers, and Boar’s Head hoagies. They also offer a vast assortment of deep fried foods, like hand-tossed chicken wings, french-fries, onion rings, and mozzarella sticks. And if you decide to bring the kids along, they vouch for a kids’ menu that can satisfy even the pickiest eaters

Have you always lived in Currituck or did you relocate here?

Our family has owned a home in Corolla for 23 years. For a long time, we rented
out to vacationers. However, we made the decision to stop renting when our six
children were old enough to work here in the summers.

Do you remember the moment that you decided to start your own business?

Our kids were already working down here in the summers, and my husband and I
weren’t quite ready to retire just yet, so we began to explore new business
opportunities in the area. Both my husband and I grew up in Pennsylvania, and
everyone in our family is a die-hard Eagles fan, so when we saw that Philly Steak
Subs was for sale, we jumped on the opportunity to buy!

Philly Steak Subs - Brooke Cope-020900-editedWhat's the best part about owning and operating a business in Currituck County

Owning and operating a business in Corolla has enabled our family to work in a
location we love—the beach! Having a seasonal business allows us to work
extremely hard for 6 or 7 months and then spend the rest of the year at our home
in Northern Virginia.

Since buying Philly Steak Subs, we’ve have gotten to know local business owners, and we’ve developed lasting friendships with many of our neighbors in Corolla. We also get the chance to meet customers from all around the US!

What's the hardest part about owning and operating a business in Currituck County?

Training new employees each year takes a lot of energy. We have been very
fortunate to have some great workers return to us for two and three years in a

What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a business in Currituck County?

If you are looking to start a seasonal business, make sure you hire enough
employees in preparation for the busier months. It may seem slow at first, in the
Spring especially, but things will ramp-up fast, so you need to make sure you have
enough employees to account for the exponential increase in tourism-related-
business that Corolla experiences during the summer months.

As most fellow Corolla business owners know, finding practical and affordable
housing for seasonal workers and international students can also be very
challenging. Therefore, I would advise new business owners to finalize employee
housing arrangements well before the start of the season.

DSCF1902 - Brooke Cope

What do you most want people (in Currituck County and beyond) to know about you and your business?

Since our family took over the business in April of 2016, we’ve tried hard to make
the customer experience even more enjoyable. Although we’re called Philly Steak
Subs, we sell a whole lot more than just cheesesteaks and hoagies. We’ve
broadened the menu options to include dishes like cheesesteak eggrolls, pasta
salad, potato salad, and kettle-cooked chips.

Our dining and bar area has also been renovated; we’ve brightened up the
seating-area, added fun arcade-style games for the kids, and doubled our craft
beer selection. More recently, we’ve updated our website and added an online
ordering feature with the aim of making take-out even easier for those looking to
grab a quick bite to eat.

Our menu items can be prepared to go if folks are in a hurry, or served with plates
for those who would like to enjoy their food in our spacious dining area. We’re a
popular lunch and dinner spot for both locals and tourists, and we love it when
people come to watch sports at the bar (preferably a Philly team, GO EAGLES!!).

This Currituck Small Business Spotlight first appeared in COAST OBX
Philly Steak Subs is located at 807 F Ocean Trail in Corolla, NC.
You can learn more about 
them online at

Read more about Currituck Small Businesses


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