New owner for Hill­top Drive-In in Pottstown

A new owner for Pottstown’s Hill­top Drive-In

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Donna Rovins drovins@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mer­cBiz on Twit­ter

LOWER POTTSGROVE » For more than 30 years, Deb­o­rah Pier­grossi dreamed of own­ing her own res­tau­rant. Her dream has come true. Pier­grossi, of West Pottsgrove, took own­er­ship March 1 of the Hill­top Drive-In res­tau­rant, a Pottstown-area icon since 1952.

“I just wanted a lit­tle fam­ily ori­ented res­tau­rant and some­place you wanted to come, feel wel­come, would want to meet friends there, maybe hold meet­ings there. Just a happy place to want to be,” she said.

The lo­ca­tion at 2910 E. High St. had been for sale for some time, and when Pier­grossi de­cided the time was right to fol­low her dream — it was one of the places she took a look at. While her dream was 30 years in the mak­ing — once the de­ci­sion was made, it ac­tu­ally came to­gether pretty quickly.

Pier­grossi be­gan work­ing with a real­tor about three-months prior to the pur­chase.

“I had heard this prop­erty was on the mar­ket. Af­ter look­ing around and talk­ing to a cou­ple of people, I de­cided I would give it a try,” she said.

Pier­grossi has ex­pe­ri­ence in the res­tau­rant in­dus­try, and has al­ways en­joyed cook­ing for fam­ily.

“I would make stuff for the kids and their friends. I would try things on them and see how it went,” she added.

Pier­grossi said she would fre­quently talk with friends and fam­ily about own­ing her own place.

“I had a friend who said ‘go for your dream. If you don’t, you’ll never know.’ So I did,” she said, adding that she reached a point where she was ready to be her own boss.

De­siree Mc­Carty is Pier­grossi’s niece and man­ager of the Hill­top.

“She’s one of my best friends. We’re very close. She has al­ways had a pas­sion for cook­ing and mak­ing people happy,” Mc­Carty said, adding that Pier­grossi was al­ways “vi­brant and happy” when she was do­ing what she loved.

“I had a friend who said ‘go for your dream. If you don’t, you’ll never know.’ So I did.”

– Deb­o­rah Pier­grossi

“She has stood by and lis­tened to me about my dream ever since she was born,” Pier­grossi said of Mc­Carty. “As soon as she could un­der­stand me, I used to tell her what I wanted to do.”

There have been a few changes since Pier­grossi took over the res­tau­rant, as she works to build her busi­ness. How­ever, she is quick to stress that some of the things the Hill­top is known for will re­main — like chicken, burg­ers and ice cream.

“At the same time I want to put my touch on the res­tau­rant, bring in my spe­cial touches, and that is what I have started to do,” she said.

One of the first ad­di­tions to the menu was Pier­grossi’s “sig­na­ture dish” — her Hot Pork Sand­wich, with fried hot and sweet pep­pers to go with it.

“It’s baked and thin sliced, and served in its own juice on a foot­ball roll with a choice of cheese,” Pier­grossi said. “Lit­tle by lit­tle I will add to the menu, but that will take time.”

Some­thing else that will re­main, ac­cord­ing to Pier­grossi, are the clas­sic car shows. In fact, Hill­top will host the first Cruise In of the sea­son — Hill­top/Rubright Rac­ing/Pottstown Clas­sics Mid­Week Cruise In — on Wed­nes­day, April 18 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Ad­di­tional Cruise In events are sched­uled for May 16, June 20, July 18, Aug. 15, Sept. 19, and Oct. 17 at Hill­top Drive-In, ac­cord­ing to a post on Pottstown Clas­sics’ Face­book page.

Pier­grossi added that she would also like to do a mo­tor­cy­cle show, would like to have area an­i­mal res­cues come to the Hill­top and she wants to get in­volved with the schools and area groups.

“We want to bring the com­mu­nity to­gether. I want you to say — ‘let’s meet at the Hill­top.’ Or if you want to go some­place to read a book and eat some­thing, I want you to feel like you can do that here,” she added.

Pier­grossi plans to do some paint­ing of the prop­erty.

“We’re also go­ing to build up the ice cream area for the kids, add more, do kids meals and even­tu­ally I will open for break­fast and have de­liv­ery,” she added.

Hill­top Drive-In is open six days a week: Mon­day, Wed­nes­day, Thurs­day and Sun­day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri­day and Satur­day from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., closed on Tues­day. For more in­for­ma­tion about Hill­top Drive-In, visit www.face­book.com/Hill­top-DriveIn-153918834693969/

DONNA ROVINS — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Deb­o­rah Pier­grossi, right, is the new owner of the Hill­top Drive-In res­tau­rant, a Pottstown-area icon since 1952. Pier­grossi has dreamed of own­ing a res­tau­rant for 30 years. She took own­er­ship of the res­tau­rant March 1. Help­ing her is niece De­siree...

DONNA ROVINS — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

The Hill­top Drive-In res­tau­rant in Lower Pottsgrove has a new owner. Deb­o­rah Pier­grossi took own­er­ship of the res­tau­rant March 1.

DONNA ROVINS — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

The Hill­top Drive-In res­tau­rant in Lower Pottsgrove has a new owner.

DONNA ROVINS — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Deb­o­rah Pier­grossi took own­er­ship of Lower Pottsgrove’s Hill­top Drive-In res­tau­rant on March 1. Shown here is a rib­bon cut­ting with friends and fam­ily to mark the oc­ca­sion.

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