Best kept secret in Cecil County.
Lena's is celebrating 60 years! We are known for our fast and delicious foods. Everything is homemade, from our soups and salads to our fresh cut potatoes for our beach fries. Our chicken salad and turkey breast are cooked fresh right here.
We are only a small family restaurant, the only chain we have is linked to our family. Most of you know, Joe passed away a couple of years ago and my extended family have kept me going. Shirley Clark has been here since the longest with a brief stint working in Perryville Post Office, and the raising her grandchildren. Shirley returned and has been with us for 30 years. Millie Pease, best know as our "little butterfly", has been here 15 years. Her side-kick Debbie Richardson has worked her for 12 years and she is the baby of the family.
Since Joe passed away, you may have seen the men in my life, both my nephews. Bill Phillips (Superman), retired from the State and Rob Poffenberger retired from the airlines have joined the crew. Rob's wife Tina is just a bundle of joy, when she is here. She is the Executive Director of St. John's Towers & Commons in Havre de Grace. I also have lots of other nieces and nephews behind the scenes that I can't thank enough.
I'm here working everyday. I miss Joe terrible, but decided to honor and his mother Lena who started the shop in 1959 and who passed away as well. Keeping the shop open with your help, we will keep the good food coming. Follow us on Facebook, better still, stop in! Melba.
Remember way back, when you wanted a really good sub? You had to load up the kids in the car
and head for Angie's in Newark, Delaware. In 1959, the opening of Lena's brought those same great tastes to Elkton. Owned by Jim & Lena Romanek, Lena's had its grand opening as Lena's Sub and Steak Shop. The building was constructed by Jim Romanek himself with a crew of family and friends. With Lena having learned all the right things from her brother Joe Sacconey and his wife Rose (aka: Angie's of Newark, DE) and her sisters Alice and Madaline, who both had restaurants in North East, it wasn't long before things took off. And 55 years later they're still rolling along.
In 1959, things were a bit different. Eisenhower was president, but Elvis was King. Saturday night was the big night out for everyone. For the teenagers, there was a sock hop every Saturday night at the Elkton Armory. Everyone left their shoes inside the front door. Stores were not allowed to be open on Sundays because that was a day for church, family and friends. If you liked TV you could watch any one of the 3 channels available all the way up to 10:00pm., and you got those with the rabbit ears on top of your TV. And even then you had to tie tin foil strips to the tips of those to improve the reception. Coke was only a soda you drank and a really small computer weighed in at only one ton. You listened to your music from a record. This was before the CD, cassette, or even the 8 track. Right now, someone young is saying, "What's an 8 track?" And when you cooked you used the oven in your stove because a microwave was still only a deadly by-product from an atomic explosion. Atomic -that was something that came before nuclear. The cost of living was a bit cheaper then. Bread was 20 cents a loaf and gas was 30 cents a gallon. You could buy a new car for $2,000 and a new home for $13,000. An extra large pizza with all
the toppings cost $1.75 while the small one with the works cost 90 cents. And a small italian sub cost you 50 cents while a small american was only 30 cents.
One of the things that has never changed is that Lena's is still owned and operated by the same
family. Lena's daughter-in law Melba still cling to the old ways of cooking everything from scratch. That means they use the very best and freshest when it comes to what they serve. From the homemade rice pudding to the fresh baked turkeys and delicious chicken salad, everything is cooked fresh on a daily basis. There's always homemade soups and chili for those cold and rainy days. It's nice to go back and enjoy those same great tastes we enjoyed when things were neat and we were cool. See ya there later, gater.