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'Philly King of Bountiful' serves up cheesesteaks with a twist in Utah

Posted at 8:58 AM, Feb 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-19 10:58:44-05

BOUNTIFUL, Utah — For about 11 years now, the corner of Main St. and 100 South in Bountiful has been occupied by Vito’s.

It’s a sandwich shop that hearkens back to simpler times and serves up Philly Cheesesteaks.

What may be more unusual than a shop that specializes in Philly Cheesesteak in Utah, is how the owner, Vito Leone, began making them.

“I had never eaten a Philly…or had a Philly," Leone explained. "I’ve never seen a Philly. I just happened to throw one together and just got it right the first time.”

During his 38 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, Leone has worked as a waiter, bartender, and cook.

He first launched Vito’s as a sidewalk food cart in 2007. A couple of years later, it grew into a food truck and eventually a restaurant.

“I was never expecting to get into a building," Leone reflected.

Now, he cooks and serves around 180 customers each day by himself, which is his preference.

While he’s only open for three hours each day, five days a week, Leone oftentimes runs out of sandwiches in two hours. It’s a case of supply and customer demand.

“It’s good food…and it’s friendly…and it’s quick,” explained Anna Edmunds, a loyal customer.

Part of Leone’s speed has to do with his cash-only system. It involves a bucket that sits upfront, where customers pay for their food and take the change owed. He got the idea from a street food vendor in New York City.

Leone said he has never been short-changed.

“People say it’s a cruel world out there, and people are just evil, but no, I don’t see it."

As for the future of Vito’s, he doesn’t see the sandwich shop closing anytime soon. Leone plans to be in business for at least another 13 years.

Vito’s is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. It’s closed on weekends.