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Bennigan’s coming to Steubenville

COMING SOON — Bennigan’s, a restaurant that promotes its Irish hospitality with traditional American fare, is set to open in the spring at one of the new buildings in front of the Inn at Franciscan Square on University Boulevard. -- Dave Gossett

STEUBENVILLE — Bennigan’s, a 40-year-old restaurant franchise, will open in Steubenville next spring at one of the buildings now under construction at the Inn at Franciscan Square.

Paul Mangiamele, the chief executive officer of Bennigan’s, announced Wednesday Fraspada Management Inc. has purchased the rights to bring the Bennigan’s franchise to Steubenville, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

“We chose Bennigan’s because we have great passion for the brand and believe that it’s the perfect fit for the city, the university, our community and the states where we will develop,” said Franco Carapellotti of family owned Fraspada.

“Bennigan’s has a rich history and exciting future, which reminds me of our town here in Steubenville, the tenacity of Cleveland and the business-friendly city of Pittsburgh. Bennigan’s is relentlessly focused on its guests, food and experience, which aligns well with the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s culture. The Irish hospitality that Bennigan’s provides will be unique to these areas and will perfectly complement the local and multi-city restaurant scenes,” said Carapellotti.

Carapellotti said Prospera Hospitality, which manages the Inn at Franciscan Square, will operate the Bennigan’s.

“This is family-owned Fraspada Management’s first franchise and one of many for Prospera Hospitality, which will be operating the businesses. Pittsburgh-based Prospera is a top-level hospitality management company that focuses on balance, creativity and quality,” cited Carapellotti.

“We’ve had our eye on returning to Ohio and Pennsylvania ever since we started franchising, and we feel very fortunate to have Franco and his team lead the way there,” said Mangiamele.

“Since Franco and I share an Italian heritage, we take special pride in bringing Bennigan’s to the birthplace of Dean Martin. I’m impressed by the passion that the Carapellotti family has for Bennigan’s, and I know they’re going to show these three communities just how special the casual dining experience can be,” Mangiamele explained.

Carapellotti said the 5,000-square-foot restaurant will bring approximately 75 jobs to the Steubenville economy.

The menus will feature one-of-a-kind, signature Bennigan’s favorites such as the “World-Famous Monte Cristo,” “Oh, Baby Back Ribs,” the “Turkey O’Toole,” “Lina’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich,” the “Big Irish” double-decker hamburger and a wide assortment of handcrafted and innovative specialty drinks.

“We talked to a couple of different brands, but Bennigan’s seemed like the best fit for the community and Franciscan University of Steubenville. I have been in regular contact with the university administration throughout this process because I wanted to make sure they were comfortable with our selection. The university agreed this is a good for them as well as the community,” Carapellotti said.

He also said he has signed a business tenant for space in the new building complex.

“Right now we are exploring potential options for future development on the hill,” said Carapellotti.

The Steubenville native announced in April plans for the first two tenants for the new buildings at the Inn at Franciscan Square.

“We are opening two businesses in the upper building as you come down University Boulevard. The first business is Rubi’s Pizza and Grill, which has the same owners as Corrado’s at the Fort Steuben Mall. They are a family-owned restaurant that has been in business for more than 24 years. Their menu will feature a variety of more than 30 kinds of pizzas that will be on display. They will also have Italian strombolis and calzones as well as chicken, wings, charbroiled burgers, a variety of subs, pasta dishes and Italian salads as well as Italian deserts. Our second business will be the Brooklyn Bagel Co., and that is a New York-style bagel shop. They will serve a variety of bagels and breakfast foods and Pittsburgh-based La Prima coffee,” Carapellotti told a Faith in the Future luncheon audience in April.

“It has been an uphill battle at times as we talked to businesses because they would cite median income for the area and traffic counts. We want tenants who will be here for 10, 15 or 20 years and will be good for the community,” explained Carapellotti.

“My family has been involved with the university for a very long time. I have been asked a lot why I am still here in Steubenville. There is something about the community that draws you back. I love it here. I always wanted to stick around and do something to help the community. And, I thank the university for allowing me to take on this project,” Carapellotti said.

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