The restaurant atop Johnstown’s venerable Inclined Plane will be sporting a familiar name with some familiar faces at the door when it reopens for business this summer.
Owners Rick McQuaide and Lorrie Sanden have been given the green light to relocate and expand Asiago’s Tuscan Italian from Scalp Avenue in Richland Township.
Asiago’s proposal was one of two submitted in response to a request advertised by Cambria County Transit Authority after the former restaurant, City View Bar and Grill, was shut in March.
“We had two outstanding proposals that were presented,” CamTran Chairman Ed Cernic Jr. said. “It was a tough decision for the board.”
The other proposal was presented by Johns-
town attorney David Weaver on behalf of an unidentified local restaurateur, CamTran Executive Director Rose Lucey-Noll said.
A total of 21 interested parties picked up request-for-proposals packets, Lucey-Noll said.
Moving to the 709 Edgehill Drive location in Westmont provides Asiago’s with an opportunity to spread its wings, McQuaide said. The restaurant – formerly known as the Pasta Shoppe – currently shares the 800-802 Scalp Ave. building with Shananagan’s Sports Pub, Mirage Banquet Facility and Catering Service and Mama Mia’s Pizza, all operated by McQuaide and Sanden.
“We have been looking for the right situation to have Asiago’s be its own place and have its own identity,” McQuaide said. “More people will know about it and know where it is.”
The Inclined Plane location’s separate banquet room is ideal for the Mirage business’s larger functions, he added.
This is not the first time the owners have tried to expand beyond the Scalp Avenue building at Bel Air Plaza.
In 2006, the partners opened Copper Kettle Buffet in the Richland Town Centre location now occupied by Panera Bread. About a year later, the Corral restaurant and lounge was opened in the former Penn National site at the University Park Plaza.
Rental costs led to both those establishments’ demise, McQuaide said, noting that the Inclined Plane location’s low rent will allow Asiago’s to thrive there.
Cernic is not concerned by the prior outcomes.
“This is a very unique location,” Cernic said. “It is not like any other restaurant that they may have had.”
McQuaide said Asiago’s goal is to be fully operational in time for Thunder in the Valley, June 20-23.
Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.
Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.