Calogero Elia, whose father owned 10 different restaurants, grew up in the service industry.

After taking over his first restaurant in 2001 in Harrisburg, Elia is now preparing to open an American bistro in downtown York City.

Iron Horse York will open in the One Marketway West building, which is still undergoing renovations from owner Yohn Properties, in mid-July or August, Elia said.

Currently running Cafe Fresco Paxton in Harrisburg, Elia said he wasn't necessarily looking to open a second restaurant, but when he was approached by Bennett Williams agent Chris Seitz about the space, he couldn't resist.

The renovated space, prime location at the corner of West Market Street and North George Street, and revitalized downtown community combined to convince Elia to take the plunge.

Iron Horse York will have separate menus for lunch and dinner, Elia said, with options including sandwiches and wraps available during the day and items including venison and octopus available at night.

While Cafe Fresco is more of a coffee house, Iron Horse will be a casual, yet high-end eatery, Elia said, adding he wants to create a high-energy, industrial and relaxed feel.

Elia, who lives near Harrisburg, said he plans on spending about 90 percent of his time at Iron Horse during its first year of operation, and he's still looking to hire approximately 25 employees for the bistro.

The restaurant's name is derived from a combination of York's industrial heritage (iron) and an homage to the Black Horse Tavern, "an old tavern which stood on this site ... in 1741," according to the historical marker located outside the building.

Elia is planning to operate Iron Horse Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to midnight, and he's still working on attaining a liquor license prior to opening.

— Reach David Weissman at or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.

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