News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Eddy’s Phillys Cheesesteak opens new shop in Mill City

Contributing writer for The Canyon Weekly

Welcome to Mill City, Eddy’s Phillys Cheesesteaks!

The new eatery occupies the former Poppa Al’s restaurant, and according to owner Eduardo Garcia is open and ready to feed hungry residents and travelers.

“We chose Mill City for its serenity, as well as the chance to have our first brick and mortar,” said Garcia, who also will keep open his food truck at The Yard Food Park on State Street in Salem. Garcia plans to open another at Checkpoint 221 in West Salem in March.

Garcia has been in the food industry for 20-plus years, doing everything from “cooking, managing, bussing and even dishwashing.” When his oldest son, who is on the autism spectrum, approached his 18th birthday, Garcia wanted to ensure he had opportunities and job security.

“So, I opened my first food truck, and gave all my kids the chance to work and learn from people that love and respect them,” Garcia said. Of his new venture, he added, “The 15th was a soft opening, and we will go from there.”

Garcia plans to sell hamburgers and Philly cheesesteaks, including customer favorites: the Classic, French Dip, and Western. If beef isn’t to your liking, chicken cheesesteaks are also on the menu.

“As we familiarize ourselves with the area and customer flow, our hours may change,” he said. “So far, we are closed Monday and Tuesday. We are open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday through Sunday.”

Most customer feedback at his Salem food truck has been either positive or people not expecting the white cheese sauce used on the sandwiches, according to Garcia.

“We are always happy to answer questions and make modifications for our customers,” said Garcia, who welcomes feedback at the new location to help his customer service.

As a small family business, Garcia said he values kindness and respect for “all and everyone.”

“We hope to display these values at each and every location,” he said. 

Of the Mill City location he added, “We won’t be Poppa Al’s, but we also will not be changing everything. We value the history and love what Poppa Al’s holds for many of you.”

Garcia hopes Eddy’s Phillys can bring some of the longtime popular restaurant’s energy back to the Santiam Canyon.

“Welcome from someone who owned Poppa Al’s for 16 years,” said Diana Slye on The Santiam Canyon Chat. 

Lisa Gabriel-Elliott used to work at Poppa Al’s in the ‘70s and loves the location.

A lot of excitement is generating over the new food option, and Garcia welcomes feedback on the location coming back to life.

“Come see us,” Garcia said, “and try to find space to sign the wall once again.” 

Lifelong Mill City resident Kyle Woodley said he is very pleased to find out Garcia plans to keep the tradition of the signing wall alive. 

For more information, call 503-881-7765. Eddy’s Phillys is also on Facebook.

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