The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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June 9, 2012

Colorful new restaurant opening

— The former owner and operator of Dean’s Texas Hot Dogs is opening a new eatery in the city’s 8th Ward. 

The new restaurant, Barbera’s, is located at 1171 Hunt St., just off Franklin Street.

The owner of the colorfully painted new place, Philip Barbera Jr., said he and his father have been working on the restaurant for four years.

He got the idea for his color scheme while working as a real estate agent in Florida, where he saw multicolored houses near the beach.

“This is going to be a working man’s place and we’re going to make all the dinners under $8 and the hot dogs $1.88,” Barbera said. “We’re also going to have a smoker out in the parking lot for barbecue chicken and ribs on Fridays and Saturdays.”

He gained his hot dog experience at Dean’s Texas Hot Dogs, a family-owned business that was open for five years and formerly located on Scalp Avenue in Richland Township.

It closed in 1989.

Barbera said the new restaurant is going to have an Italian theme.

The first floor will be open for takeout orders, while dining rooms will be located on the second and third floors of the building.

Barbera is putting some finishing touches on his new restaurant and plans to open this week.

“We want to be geared toward a family restaurant,” he said. “All the food is going to be made from scratch. I hired an experienced chef and baker.”

Barbera said he plans to start with a small menu and build from that.

Fresh-dough pizza, spaghetti and rigatoni are among menu items that customers of the restaurant can expect.

“I have restaurant experience so I’m not too worried,” Barbera said. “There are friendly people here, and the building really captures attention.

“Also we have 50 parking spaces for people to use, so I’m excited for the opening.”

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