TOM AND DENISE
Tom and I were both living our dream of owning a unique, intimate restaurant with the areas most interesting food and wine. For three years we changed our menu weekly and then for three more years, bi-weekly. Everything was going along smoothly. Then one day, in July of 2006,we looked at each other and decided it was time for something new. We took some time off, ate out all around the area, something we seldom have had a chance to do, and discovered that Johnstown is a great Food town. So we decided to jump back into the restaurant business.
With the addition of a new Fire Brick Oven we now focus heavily on Healthy Mediterranean Comfort Food. Our smoke free restaurant features three distinct dinning areas. The Bar and surrounding area with table seating has a lively fun feel. In the main Dining room we have a Private Party area that can easily accommodate a party of 12-16 for a business meeting or a gathering of friends. We have increased our popular Booth Seating to encompass the middle section of the room and provide a Relaxing Romantic Atmosphere to make the Back Door Cafe a great date night destination.
Our menu offerings are made with Seasonal, Market Fresh ingredients. Chef Tom has always worked with area farmers to procure local, sometimes organic, ingredients whenever possible. Our menus will continue to reflect that philosophy as well as featuring many choices for those on a health conscious diet. We think you’ll love our interpretation of the ultimate Comfort Foods we all know and love and we’ve created some Craveable new favorites especially for you. So the Back Door Cafe is the place to go.
Whether you stay and eat in our beautiful restaurant or take dinner home to enjoy, we are committed to bringing you the best food we can find, prepared by us, in the most wholesome way possible. You don’t have to sacrifice great taste for healthy choices.
Remember, we love to eat here too.
About Denise… as a child, many happy days were spent cooking and baking with my grandmother. It gave me a love and appreciation of good basic food that has lasted a lifetime. Even through other career choices; retail management, antiques dealer, and longtime decorative painter, working with food went from a hobby to a passion. Cooking on charter yachts in the British Virgin Islands, at a private club in the mountains of Pennsylvania, helping a caterer friend in the Ligonier Valley and Pittsburgh all led the way to starting a small catering business with my husband Tom. At the end of every party, our clients would say, please open a restaurant, so we did.
About Tom… I’ve always been the cook. That is, from the time my interest started at my mother’s stovetop, I have cooked for friends and family. Through college, a roommate and I baked bread for a buck. Thereafter dinner parties at home and at other friends homes were commonplace. A move to Los Angeles while still in the construction business put me back into the guise of cook for all, as I catered parties for my subcontractors. After moving back to Pennsylvania, I was struck by my wife Denise and the professional cooking bug.
An associate degree in Culinary Arts and a stint as an apprentice at the Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier, PA led Denise and I to the catering business, she already mentioned, and finally, to the Back Door Cafe. We continue our passionate pursuit of food and excellence in food at our restaurant. Obviously the readers of Johnstown Magazine noticed, appreciated our efforts and voted me the area’s Best Chef for 2006.The newly incarnated Back Door Cafe is the latest stop in my food odyssey. Hopefully, now as a certified Executive Chef through the American Culinary Federation, my study and love of food will continue for some time.