The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Vision 2013

April 28, 2013

Area’s diners enjoy more menu options

JOHNSTOWN — Louisiana Lickers hot wings, raspberry pomegranate frozen yogurt and a capicola and egg submarine sandwich were among the local eats added to the Johnstown area’s menu options over the past year.

And following a year that brought Quaker Steak & Lube and Sweet Frog frozen yogurt shop to Richland Township, Rocco’s Submarine Sandwiches to downtown Johnstown and a list of other restaurants into the region, more are expected to follow in the coming year, including LongHorn Steakhouse and Olive Garden in 2014.

“Business is great,” Quaker Steak & Lube General Manager Ken Leaf said. “Honestly, we’re doing fabulous.”

Weekly draws like the Lube’s $11.99 all-you-can-eat wings promotion have been a major draw, he added.

“People around here love that stuff,” Leaf said, adding the restaurant’s fried chicken wings are by far the biggest sellers. The wings are tossed in a variety of nearly two dozen sauces.

Leaf expects the University Park Plaza restaurant’s parking lot will be packed this summer for Wednesday night bike nights and Friday night car cruise-ins, events that have been popular at other locations across the region.

Among other recent additions:

• Auntie Sassa’s Pizzeria, Dale Borough.

• Barbera’s, Johnstown’s 8th Ward.

• Beandog’s Beer-n-Burger Pub, Somerset.

• Best Way Pizza, Richland Township.

• Build-a-Burger, The Galleria.

• Capri Pizza, Westwood Plaza

• Franklin Street Bar & Grill, Kernville.

• Jake’s Pub and Grill, The Galleria.

• Laurel Highlands Restaurant & Lounge, Boswell.

• Rocco’s Submarine Sandwiches, downtown Johnstown.

• Spice Up Your Life Herbery & Coffee House, Somerset.

• Sweet Frog, Richland Town Centre.

• The Food Dude, Richland Township.

Local entrepreneurs are preparing to open eateries in several locations in the Somerset area, said Ron Aldom, Somerset County Chamber of Commerce director.

Bad Boyz Bistro, a Bedford restaurant featured on Food Network’s “Outrageous Food,” will open a location this spring on West Main Street, he added.

Tailgatez, a sports bar, will open sometime this summer in the former Grapevine restaurant on North Center Avenue in Somerset Township, Aldom said.

Molly’s Ice Cream will also open soon in the same neighborhood, Aldom added.

Sites closest to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and close to “trail towns” like Confluence are the busiest these days, as far as luring new business goes, he said.

That’s not surprising, Aldom added.

“That’s where the traffic is ... so that’s where we’re seeing a lot of activity,” he said. “Especially in the trail towns. There’s a lot of bicyclists coming through so there’s a need to fill. Everyone is busy.”

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