‘For the Love Pierogies’ opens in St. Clairsville
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Many Ohio Valley residents grew up eating dinners of kielbasa and sauerkraut, pierogies and sausage sandwiches all made at home.
The meals were cooked by mom and dad or sometimes grandma and grandpa. Now those same types of dishes can be eaten at a new restaurant in St. Clairsville — For the Love of Pierogies, located at 110 W. Main St.
Bonnie Vetanze, who co-owns the business with Iryna Bandura, celebrated a grand opening of the shop on Wednesday, adding that they were “hammered” with customers.
One side of the shop is a sit-down restaurant where people can order pierogies made on site, along with pasta and kielbasa and sausage sandwiches and more.
People can also order take-out.
The other side sells many foods to go including the pierogies made by Vetanze and her employees, a variety of kielbasa and sausages, bratwurst, bacon and more from State Meats of Cleveland, and pasta from Ohio City Pasta and fish from Western Edge Fish.
“We started this business by putting it on Facebook that we were making pierogies and the next day we had hundreds of orders,” Vetanze said. “Now we’re selling 5,000 pierogies a day.”
Vetanze described the fish selection as “fancy,” noting it is not the typical fish one buys at the grocery store.
“We have a full European deli on one side. … We have imported foods canned and in jars,” she noted. “We have European candies in fancy boxes and gifts from there.”
Vetanze said they started the business in a basement commercial kitchen in Wheeling where she resides. They needed more space so they opened up a storefront in Bellaire. They outgrew that space and found a new one in St. Clairsville, located next to the public library downtown.
“I don’t think we could have expected how quickly it has grown. We loved Bellaire, we just needed more room. This place came open and it already had a kitchen,” she said.
“We thank Bellaire.”
Vetanze said they started the business when the COVID pandemic was underway. She had recently retired from her job as a plant manager, and Bandura is a lawyer.
“In this area people have eaten pierogies all their lives. … It’s a melting pot in this tri-state area. There is so much ethnicity here, but people didn’t have any pierogies here other than frozen from the store,” she said. “We brought something that no one else had.”
Vetanze said though her professional background is not in food service, her family roots are in Ukraine where such food is common.
“We grew up on it and we know European food,” she said.
For the Love of Pierogies is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and is closed Saturdays and Sundays.
Vetanze said the eatery has four employees, and they are treated like family.
“It’s a unique place. It has an atmosphere different from anything. It’s a different business model,” she said.