On the Roll serves up Philly attitude


On the Roll

On the Roll has been serving the Joplin area authentic Philly cheesesteaks since January 2011. Owner Don Stauffer says the perfect combination of three things keeps people coming back: the rolls, the meat and the attitude, all straight from Philadelphia.

Stauffer moved to Joplin from Philadelphia, Penn., in 2003, but has had the idea for On the Roll for 35 years. He and his son David Stauffer opened the restaurant with hopes of showing Joplin what a real Philly cheesesteak is all about.

The cheesesteak joint, originally located at 20th Street and Duquesne, suffered a blow when the May 2011 F-5 tornado swept through Joplin.

“I’d never owned a business before,” said Don, “and it was devastating.”

The restaurant made a quick comeback, re-opening in October of 2011 at a new location on East Seventh Street. Don said the prompt timing was necessary.

“People want cheesesteaks,” he said.

On the Roll expanded in 2012 after Don asked the neighboring store, who also re-opened after being wiped out in the tornado, to move over one space. This extension gave Don the extra space necessary for a pizza oven, and On the Roll began serving homemade pizza.

Don said his pizza is different than many other pizza options in the area because he makes his pizza sauce and dough in house. The South Street Pizza combines the two worlds of cheesesteak and pizza, topped with onions, sweet bell peppers and cheesesteak.

According to Don, On the Roll may also introduce some new desserts to the menu this summer: gelato and Italian water ice, a packed ice dessert with fresh flavors.

Co-owner David said working as a father and son duo makes their business successful.

“With any business, you have to plan and do it right,” he said, “and we do it right.”