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Dooney's Cuts Ribbon for Downtown Restaurant
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Dooney’s Downtown Grille & Bar has done well since its opening a month ago, and is now preparing for a marketing push, its operators say.
Two of the three co-owners, attorneys Chris Sammarone and Bryan Ridder, were joined Wednesday by Sammarone’s father – better known as Mayor Chuck Sammarone – and 1st Ward Councilwoman Annie Gillam for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The third partner, attorney J.P. Daliman, was unable to attend, his partners said.
The sports bar and restaurant is located in the Stambaugh Building space occupied until June by Buffalo Wild Wings, which closed after local franchisee Ed Yaskowitz was told the franchise organization wouldn’t renew his license because the location was outdated and didn’t meet its current image.
Ridder, who represented Yaskowitz, brought the opportunity to take over the restaurant space to Sammarone and Daliman. With the upswing in downtown activity, proximity to Youngstown State University and the opening of Eastern Gateway Community College’s Valley Campus downtown, “We felt this would be a good time to jump into this market and a good opportunity,” Sammarone said.
Dooney’s had a soft opening July 27. “We feel we’ve got a lot of the kinks out and we’re ready to move forward,” he said. “Now we’re ready to move into full tilt with football season starting.”
The restaurant offers typical American fare, including wings and sandwiches, as well as pizza, which Buffalo Wild Wings didn’t offer, Mexican food and fish, Sammarone said. “Most importantly we have a draft beer selection that I believe is the largest in Mahoning County,” Sammarone said.
The restaurant also features an outdoor patio, 15 high-definition televisions and three large-screen sets.
Although the three lawyers have no experience operating a restaurant, Sammarone said most of Buffalo Wild Wings’ employees stayed, and the prior owner helped with the transition. The restaurant has 26 full- and part-time employees.
After a month of operating and employees becoming familiar with how things will be done, “Now we can really push with some marketing,” he said. “We’re doing some things with YSU and looking to partner up with some other businesses and so forth to really market what we’re going to do here.”
The partners are also excited about being able to continue Party on the Plaza, an event that’s “been a staple down here since I was at YSU,” Sammarone said. This week’s event will continue Dooney’s grand opening celebration.
Copyright 2012 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.