Bucks County Herald

Susan S. Yeske: Dining Out

Dilly’s is back at Centre Bridge with new owners

Opening has been a rite of spring for 30 years

The menu at Dilly’s Centre Bridge has kept the familiar favorites of Dilly Dogs, Dilly Burgers, curly fries, shakes and soft-serve cones.

Along with the appearance of daffodils and tulips, the reopening of Dilly’s Corner has been a rite of spring for more than 30 years.

The Centre Bridge restaurant draws eager customers from near and far for its Dilly Dogs, Dilly Burgers, shakes, cones and curly fries.

This year’s March reopening was the same, with customers lining up to place their orders and receive a traditional playing card that identifies their food for pickup.

What is new this year is the ownership. Husband and wife Ted and Anya Distler bought the restaurant from longtime owners Tom and Nancy Massa.

Customers have been reassured that much about Dilly’s will remain the same under the new owners. “We want to preserve the essential burger, ice cream and shake feel of the place,” said Ted Distler.

The Distlers have kept the beloved soft-serve ice cream the same, buying their supplies from the company utilized by their predecessors. They still make the shakes the same, and the condiments they pile on their burgers and dogs are the same.

While the Distlers are working hard to keep the best of Dilly’s, some things are changing. Ted Distler is a culinary school graduate and trained chef; both he and his wife have worked in high-end restaurants including Mistral and Elements in Princeton, N.J., and they bring that background to their new business.

The couple have chosen their own meat purveyor, so customers are finding more upscale hot dogs and hamburgers between the buns. They also purchased a smoker, and as soon as they receive permission from Solebury Township, will begin making barbecued pulled pork, ribs and wings to offer as daily specials at the restaurant.

Other changes include adding a short list of hard ice creams for those who don’t want chocolate or vanilla soft-serve. Currently those include mint chocolate chip, strawberry, salted caramel and peanut butter fudge.

The couple also are offering Italian water ice for the first time as a dairy-free option for customers.

In warmer months on weekends when Dilly’s tends to be crowded, they will offer a cash-only ice cream window to expedite the ordering process.

And Dilly’s will be open year-round in some capacity, the Distlers said. They aren’t certain yet, but from January to March they may remain open for take-out only, with limited winter hours on weekends. In cold months, look for Ted Distler to make soups from scratch, one of his personal specialties.

For the Distlers, buying Dilly’s is a dream come true. “I always wanted my own place, and barbecue is fun to do,” Ted said.

For Anya, Dilly’s is all about families. “It’s been a lot of fun,” she said. “We have met so many awesome people.”

No doubt they will meet many more are warm weather brings ice cream lovers back to Dilly’s.

7085 Upper York Road, New Hope

Sandwiches and platters $5.25-$7.25, soft-serve ice cream $2.25-$4.25.

Customer favorites:
Milkshakes, cones, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chicken and chips.

noon-7 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat.-Sun., closed Mondays until summer.




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