Residents meet Darren Daulton, eat record cheesesteak at bank opening

Royal Bank CFO Robert Kuehl, PACS Executive Director Carol Berger, Caroline Buto (Community Banking Officer) and Lars Eller (Chief Retail Banking Officer) with a $500 check for PACS. Photo by Barry Taglieber
Former Phillies Catcher Darren "Dutch" Daulton signs autographs during Royal Bank America's grand opening at its new downtown location at 124 Main St. in Phoenixville April 12. Photo by Barry Taglieber

PHOENIXVILLE — What do former Phillies great Darren “Dutch” Daulton, Alex’s Lemonade Stand and an 80 foot long cheesesteak all have in common? They were all on hand for the grand opening of Royal Bank America’s new downtown location in Phoenixville last Saturday.

The bank officially opened its new doors at 124 Main St. on April 12 and held an outdoor event on the season’s first 70 degree day to celebrate.

“We’re excited to move downtown, and it’s a new start for us, really,” said Marc Sanders, the bank’s vice president of marketing. “We’ve been in the community for 40 years, but we’re happy to be downtown where there’s so much excitement about the downtown renaissance, and this is where we need to be.”

The cheesesteak was built and the event kicked off at 11 a.m. with Daulton arriving to make the ceremonial first cut in the largest cheesesteak the borough has ever seen. The sandwich was originally supposed to be 50 feet long, but its engineer, Frank LoPresti, owner of Franco Ristoranti on Bridge Street, said he wanted to improve upon that and was even prepared to go as long as 90 feet just in case he needed the extra.

“Anything with the community, I’m always open-minded to do whatever it takes for the community because I love people,” LoPresti said.

He agreed to help because he believes it’s important for small business owners in the borough to help support each other and foster a sense of community.

“I’ve been in town for over 26 years and every time there’s a special event, I love to be there,” he said. “It’s a good way to welcome any new business to town.”

Next time, he wants to go for a full 100 feet, he added.

By the time the cheesesteak was cut, the line for autographs from Daulton already stretched the length of the parking lot and wrapped around the side of the building. While waiting in line, attendees could purchase lemonade from an Alex’s Lemonade Stand set up in the lot to wash down their free cuts of cheesesteak.

“Look at the turnout today,” said Branch Manager Caroline Buto. “We have Darren Daulton here, we’ve got an 80 foot cheesesteak, and it looks like it’s going to be gone in a matter of minutes.

“It’s a good crowd, a lot of Phillies fans and hopefully a lot of potential new customers for Royal Bank,” she added.

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