The original Zephyr Express restaurant was the creation of Donnie Brown. It was by no means his first venture, but it's where some of his classic menu items originated, including that cheesy, garlicky bread (Killer Bread or Fisaga Bread), and it was parked at the corner of Second and South Streets for 11 years before any of that Mars/Saloon/Smalls/Egypt stuff happened. When it closed (before my heyday, I ate there once on a date before I was 21 years old), Brown's next venue, Fisaga, adopted its staff and the bulk of its menu.
When I first moved back to Harrisburg after college, I was sent to the North Street Cafe for some errand, possibly an interview. Not long after nightclubs, lounges and restaurants began springing up about town, it was sold and revamped as Cafe Sol – coffeeshop by day, upscale dining by night. With the guts of the action happening further down the block on Second Street, Cafe Sol didn't have staying power. With a shift in management – and initial assistance from Brown himself – it was revamped as the North Street Zephyr Express. Zephyr favorites made the menu – flat-bread pizzas and chopped salads, and the outdoor courtyard was the "go to" spot for downtown power lunches.
The cozy restaurant space is now home to Home 231.