Bennigan’s, a global casual dining chain that offers chef-driven American fare with friendly Irish hospitality, is set to open in Franciscan Square.
“We talked to a couple of different brands, but Bennigan’s seemed like the best fit for the community and Franciscan University of Steubenville,” said Franco Carapellotti of family-owned Fraspada Management Inc. regarding purchasing the rights to open a Bennigan’s franchise in 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 fit for them as well as the community.”
Carapellotti, president of Sixty Eight Properties, which is developing Franciscan Square, said that Bennigan’s is the perfect fit for the city, the university and the community.
“Bennigan’s has a rich history and exciting future, which reminds me of our town here in Steubenville … and is relentlessly focused on its guests, food and experience, which aligns well with Franciscan University’s culture,” said Carapellotti.
The restaurant is tentatively planned to open in spring 2018 and will serve 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.
Bennigan’s will be one of three restaurants at Franciscan Square. Carapellotti announced earlier in 2017 that two other restaurants will open in the upper building of the Square. The first will be Rubi’s Pizza and Grill, a family-owned restaurant that has been in business for more than 24 years, he said. Its menu will feature a variety of more than 30 kinds of pizzas, Italian Stromboli and calzones, wings, charbroiled burgers, a variety of subs, pasta dishes and Italian salads as well as Italian deserts. Carapellotti said the second restaurant is Brooklyn Bagel Co., a New York-style bagel shop that will serve a variety of bagels and breakfast foods and Pittsburgh-based La Prima coffee.
Prospera Hospitality, which manages the Inn at Franciscan Square, will operate the Bennigan’s. Carapellotti said that the restaurant will be one of many franchises for Prospera, a Pittsburgh-based top-level hospitality management company, and the first for Fraspada Management. Carapellotti said that it will bring approximately 75 jobs to the area.
Established in 1976, the Bennigan’s franchise has been steadily growing, opening restaurants across the globe. Fraspada also plans to open franchises in Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
Paul Mangiamele, the chief executive officer of Bennigan’s, said that the company had been considering returning to Ohio and Pennsylvania for some time, and that he is excited for Carapellotti to lead the way.
“Since Franco and I share an Italian heritage, we take special pride in bringing Bennigan’s to the birthplace of Dean Martin,” Mangiamele said.
“My family has been involved with the university for a very long time,” said Carapellotti. 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.”