Red Brick Café held its grand opening Monday night, with over 100 people in attendance. Chester's newest restaurant is located in the converted community center of Chester Housing Authority's William Penn Homes.Pam and Darren Dickerson, who have operated Amir's Catering in Chester since 1996, are including their catering business as part of the Red Brick Café.
The restaurant prepares kosher or halal foods to accommodate Chester's large Muslim population. That means no pork, all halal meat and chicken.Pam, a native of Virginia, is the chef and offers southern-style cooking. The restaurant has a take-out window, but customers can also dine in. It will be open three days a week to start, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Saturday 12-8.p.m. If things go well, they said that they will expand the days of operation.Darren, a 16-year military veteran and former William Penn resident, builds the structures, fixes appliances and helps in any way he can. Darren says he suggested the restaurant be named Red Brick Café because when he grew up at William Penn, the folks in the community called the site "the red brick," because all the buildings were red brick.The couple said they hope to hire employees from inside the community, and they are prepared to train them. Aside from having an independent business directly in the midst of a CHA development, Steven Fischer, CHA executive director, says, the training opportunity was a compelling reason for him to encourage this venture. Residents will be able to earn the industry standard ServeSafe certificates, gain training and jump start their careers in culinary arts.