Sunday , July 25 2021

Veterans Transform Historic Train Station Into ‘Incredibly Special’ Cafe In Radnor Township – CBS Philly

WAYNE, Pa. (CBS) — It’s been said that when we drink coffee, ideas march in like the army. In Wayne, it’s the other way around. First came the troops, then came the coffee.

In Radnor Township, there’s a new stop to get your morning on track — Mad Anthony Wayne Cafe.

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Feet from where train tickets are sold, a new assignment for Sgt. First Class Melinda DiStefano, who had the bright idea of transforming the historic station into a cafe.

“I work for the New Jersey National Guard, I’m a mom of two, one on the way,” she said. “We just opened up this business. I mean, if there could be any more piled up on my plate, I would probably lose my mind.”

So DiStefano, and her husband, Anthony, enlisted Joe Lewis as their business partner.

“We met in the field racking out in sleeping bags and we’ve been friends ever since,” Lewis said.

Serving multiple tours in Iraq, the three share a long history — much like the station, which was built in the late 1800s.

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“We didn’t know if we wanted to go full force with the military,” DiStefano said. “We didn’t know how it would be received, so we said OK, how about we name it after the general that our town is named after. So then we put the Mad Anthony Wayne in front of it, and it seems to have been received well.”

“I think it’s incredibly special to have something like this on the Main Line where you can go and meet local veterans and support small business. I don’t think there’s a better spot,” one customer said.

“It feels great. I’m involved with like the military, it’s something that’s bigger than you,” Lewis said. “Just a gathering spot with the community just to sit, laugh, talk, have a good time, and enjoy some outstanding coffee and amazing gelato.”

Stationed behind the counter, they’re taking orders from the locals.

“It’s just a good time. It’s a great place to sit and watch Wayne go by,” a customer said.

“We opened up three weeks ago, so we appreciate you coming in and checking us out,” DiStefano said.

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The cafe is open every day. The team is also big on supporting the Paoli Battlefield Preservation Fund.

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