The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

March 27, 2013

Westwood DQ expanding: Modernized store will include indoor seating, hot food selections

JOHNSTOWN — A modernized and expanded Dairy Queen will soon replace the one that has stood at the corner of Lyter and Willett drives in the Westmont Shopping Center since the 1950s.

On Tuesday, the Lower Yoder Township Planning Commission gave its blessing for a Dairy Queen Grill and Chill to be built.

The new Dairy Queen will be twice the size of the existing one and will seat 50 customers. It also will serve hot food in addition to ice cream.

The new owners of the Westwood business are San and Stephanie Romano, and their son, Stephen, all of Richland Township.

“We’re really excited,” San Romano said. “I have had many people come up and ask me when is it going to open.”

He said they will be getting bids for the work and expect to have a contractor on the job in three weeks. He said they hope to have the new restaurant, which will include a drive-

thru window, in operation by June 1.

Stephen Romano likewise said he is excited about opening the restaurant, and so are the employees.

The Romanos will keep the dozen employees who worked for the previous owner, plus will need another 13 to 18 full- and part-time workers.

“I’m ready to get going on construction,” Stephen said.

The manager who worked for the previous owner, Sarah Faust, will manage the new restaurant, he said.

Faust said she and all the employees are ecstatic about the new restaurant.

“It’s a good day for the area,” she said.

“We needed a little bit of a change in that area.”

Faust said the hot food will include hamburgers, french fries and chicken baskets.

They also will have indoor ice cream cakes on display and for sale, she said.

Other flavors of ice cream cakes also will be available every day, she said.

San Romano, who owns AuntieAnne’s pretzels at The Galleria mall in Richland Township and elsewhere in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, said they were interested in opening a Dairy Queen in western Pennsylvania. He said they looked at a number of them before settling on the one in Westwood.

The existing building was too antiquated to be remodeled, so the best move was to raze it and build a modern one that will serve customers year-round, he said.

Joseph Turturica, chairman of the Lower Yoder Township supervisors, said he is glad to see the project taking place.

“It will enhance that corner,” he said about the intersection.

The Romanos earlier had received the approval of the zoning officials, he said.

The planning commission’s approval was the last step that was needed for them, he said.

“It’s good to have businesses expanding in the township,” he said.

Mike Vitalie, chairman of the planning commission, said it’s always good to see improvements being made in the township.

“It will be good for people to have a new Dairy Queen that will be open all year-round,” he said.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • District Deaths July 31, 2014

    July 30, 2014

  • Smaller payout to seniors urged

    State Lottery officials say less means more for seniors.

    July 29, 2014

  • Portage ambulance aid will add portable CPR device, other tools

    Federal funding awarded to Portage Area Ambulance Association will soon put “a third man” alongside their two-person crews when emergencies occur, ambulance operations manager Edward Nelson said.

    July 29, 2014

  • paint_twp building Paint Township considers offering part of building for rent

    Four years after Paint Township built an addition at the Basin Drive building to house its growing police department, much of the new space likely will be offered for rent this fall because the township supervisors say it's no longer needed.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Old Rockwood hotel will soon be history

    The historic – but dilapidated – Merchants Hotel in Rockwood is expected to be razed soon.
    On Tuesday, Somerset County’s three commissioners unanimously agreed to a demolition plan for the building, which was constructed in the 1880s. The arrangement calls for a private citizen, William Nair, to tear down the structure at 703 Main St. in exchange for being allowed to keep any salvageable materials.

    July 29, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 30, 2014

  • ATV blast ready to roll at Rock Run

    Organizers are keeping the spirit of the Fisher’s ATV Reunion at Rock Run Recreation Area alive despite losing the support of the award-winning Outdoor Channel TV show “Fisher’s ATV World.” Now called the Rock Run ATV Summer Blast, the event will continue to offer demonstration rides, motor competitions, product vendors, live music, camping and trail riding.

    July 29, 2014

  • Culvert 1 Preservationists use age-old method at historic site

    Preservation work on two historic culverts associated with the Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site has been completed. The culverts were reconstructed using a variety of techniques, including dry stone masonry, which was used to build the culverts more than 180 years ago.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local briefs 7/30/2014

    July 29, 2014

  • Officer, civilian motorist injured in crash

    A Johnstown police officer who was responding to an emergency and one other driver were taken to the hospital after they were injured in a three-vehicle accident around 5:40 p.m. Tuesday on Railroad Street at the intersection with Clinton Street and Church Avenue.
    The Johnstown Fire Department said that the three occupants of the third vehicle were not injured.

    July 29, 2014


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads