Longtime Chartiers caterer has an events venue on his plate

Rick Shrum

Danny Trubiana may have a prosperous retirement someday. But not now.

In January, the longtime Meadow Lands caterer and former restaurateur announced at a banquet inside his Pike Street establishment that he would be hanging up his ladle, saucepan and colander. Trubiana planned to shut off the burners after 42 years.

That proved to be a half-baked idea.

“I ended retirement after three weeks,” he said. “I had this realization of, ‘What am I going to do now?’”

Inspiration came swiftly. Trubiana decided to convert the place into an events venue, and after about six weeks of painstaking renovations, the erstwhile Danny’s Restaurant & Catering building has given way to the Delfini Room, a location for group get-togethers by appointment.

Oh, and oodles of food from a menu that includes Italian dishes, steaks, “basically anything,” said Trubiana, the owner, who will handle catering at the Chartiers Township venue.

“I liked the idea of a nice banquet facility ... nice and affordable,” said Trubiana, 62, who will show off his new venture today with an open house from noon to 4 p.m. at 570 Pike St. Refreshments will be served.

As for an opening date, well ... not yet. “I have some bookings. We’ll open when we can,” the Wolfdale resident said, adding that event scheduling times will be flexible.

He selected the name Delfini Room in honor of his parents, Pearl Delfini Trubiana and Dominic “Pip” Trubiana, and for their love of family and food.

“My mother made homemade raviolis and gnocchi. She was amazing.” Homemade sausage and hot pepper tomato salad were among his father’s culinary specialties.

Pip and Pearl raised three sons – Danny and his big brothers, Joe and Tom – in the east end of Canonsburg. The family, Danny attested, is still close. “My brothers are my best friends,” even though they live out of state.

Growing up in a loving environment influenced Danny to strive for a familial atmosphere at his restaurant, and now it is an integral element of his banquet site. One of his enduring philosophies is, “If you’re here, you’re family.”

Danny, a towering man with an easy smile, did much of the refurbishing at 570 Pike. That included removal of old carpeting and refinishing the floors.

“Parts of my body hurt that I didn’t believe I had,” he said.

The Delfini Room is tastefully adorned with white tablecloths and white cloth-covered chairs, a large black bow decorating each seat. It is brightly lit and features a number of appealing watercolors depicting street scenes in Italy.

There is seating for 84 in the main room, and for 21 in an “overflow” area near the buffet table. The facility can accommodate a wide range of audiences: wedding receptions, meetings, youth sports dinners, school groups.

This repurposed banquet venue occupies the entire first floor of a two-story building, which Danny owns. Four occupied apartments sit above the dining area.

Trubiana has been working for a half-century, since he was 12, toiling at Steve’s Superette in Canonsburg during the late 1960s. He was a young man, about 20, when he assumed ownership of Gabby Market in North Franklin Township, a store he eventually sold. At about that time, in the late ‘70s, Trubiana opened the restaurant/catering business in the location he recently renovated.

The restaurant endured until 2014, a significant run that featured a selection that was as appealing as it was challenging for diners. Anyone who could finish an order of three large pancakes – make that extra, extra large – would not have to pay. Freebies were uncommon.

“One time,” Danny recalled, “three state troopers were having pancakes and one of them reached inside his shirt and looked really uncomfortable. He said he had to loosen his bulletproof vest.”

Standing 6-foot-3, and admittedly more svelte than he once was, Trubiana enjoys working because, quite simply, he enjoys what he does. Thus the mulligan on his retirement decision. “I’ve never gone to a job, because it never felt like it was a job,” he said philosophically.

Chances are, enduring that three-week respite earlier this year was more of a job than almost anything Danny Trubiana has encountered in a half-century.