Grab and go sandwiches are available at Peculiar Market & Kitchen.

Grab and go sandwiches are available at Peculiar Market & Kitchen.

<p>Grateful Roast Coffee is sold at Peculiar Market & Kitchen.</p>

Grateful Roast Coffee is sold at Peculiar Market & Kitchen.

<p>A mural, in which owner Gene Philbin has named Mona, inside Peculiar Market & Kitchen by local artist Eric Bussart.</p>

A mural, in which owner Gene Philbin has named Mona, inside Peculiar Market & Kitchen by local artist Eric Bussart.

PITTSTON — After owning The Peculiar Slurp in downtown Scranton, husband and wife Gene and Miranda Philbin have returned to their hometown of Pittston.

The couple has opened a new restaurant/market called Peculiar Market & Kitchen, located at 69 S. Main St.. Gene handles the cooking, while Miranda deals with the retail part of the business.

While staying true to the reputation they built on Japanese-style ramen and Korean barbecue, they change their menu up with interesting food every now and then. Sometimes, they make old-school classic French dinners while other times, they cook meats in their smoker.

“We just try to have fun with everything we serve,” said Gene.

Related Video

Popular dishes include pork-belly ramen and short-rib bibimbap, which is a Korean rice dish on a stone bowl cooked over a fire. They also make their own kimchi.

Gene and Miranda started out in 2012 with catering. They would cater weddings and also rent fire halls and serve five-to-six-course, pop-up dinners. They also drove a food truck across Northeastern Pennsylvania, including Lehigh Valley. Six years ago, they opened The Peculiar Slurp in Scranton. On June 30, 2023, they closed its doors and moved back to Pittston.

“We live here, we started here, our business started here,” said Gene. “We just wanted to change from the city, step back a little bit, (and) get back into catering. This place came up. We jumped at the chance. We have a good relationship with the city (Pittston), so it was nice and smooth.”

Gene has been in the restaurant business his whole life from his first job at McDonald’s. He attended cooking school at Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He became a chef at Patsel’s in Glenburn Township and Skytop Lodge. He was also a head chef at Wilkes University for a couple of years.

The market side of the business has locally made foods such as Pittston Popcorn and ketchup from the Pittston Ketchup Company. It also has locally made items, including jewelry from Autumn Has Funny Earrings in Scranton.

“We keep working to find local companies that are doing interesting things,” said Gene.

There is also merchandise in the market from regional companies, such as Kensington, which makes pastas, sauces and balsamic vinegar. Righteous Felon beef jerky is from West Chester. The market provides grab and go sandwiches such as Main Street muffaleta and wraps include shrimp & kimchi and Chicago Blues wraps.

What Gene and Miranda likes best about having their own business is having the ability to have fun and cook from the heart.

“We just try to be interesting and unique and make people happy,” said Gene.

A mural of a woman, in which Gene has named “Mona’, graces one of the walls inside Peculiar Market & Kitchen. It was created by local artist Eric Bussart. Gene and Miranda work with the Northeast Art Project and will be involved in the Second Friday Art Walk inviting other artworks.