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October 5, 2012

Applebee’s coming in, Compadres going out

NEW CASTLE — Applebee’s is coming to Neshannock Township.

Signs dotting Wilmington Road in the vicinity of Field Club Commons advertise the restaurant company is now hiring.

And although attempts to contact the company have been unsuccessful, a firm hired to post art work in the new restaurant has confirmed the recent rumors.

Melissia Hudson of Artworkstudio Inc. in Mission, Kan., has been contacting various people and organizations throughout Lawrence County to collect photos that are significant to the New Castle area.

She said the restaurant will occupy a building at 3300 Wilmington Road, currently home to Compadres.

Beto Faldano, an employee in charge in at Compadres, said the Mexican restaurant is scheduled to close Friday or Monday.

Compadres employees are moving to Greenville and some of the staff is going to the Grove City restaurant, he said.

Hudson has been commissioned by Applebee’s owners to help with gathering framed pictures for the interior decor, which typically carries a local flavor.

“I try to reach out to as many outlets as possible,” Hudson said, noting she has talked to the Lawrence County Tourist Promotion Agency, local high schools and colleges for sports photos, the Lawrence County Fair, and area artists.

“Applebee’s likes to paint a picture of the local community in its decor,” she said.

A lot of the locals have responded so far, and have sent her pictures from Back to the 50’s, landmark shots, the fair, Zambelli Fireworks Internationale and the Amish, among other local points of interest.

New Castle Police Chief Bobby Salem said he has received an email from Hudson as well, asking for photos from the New Castle Police Department.

Janet Falotico, assistant executive director of the Lawrence County Tourist Promotion Agency, said she sent pictures to Hudson to display inside Applebee’s.

The agency has provided a similar service for Bob Evans.

Among approximately 15 photos she sent were shots of McConnell’s Mill, Zambelli Park, Cascade Park and the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts.

“You try to send them cultural jewels as well as the natural ones,” Falotico said, noting Hudson’s email to her indicates the restaurant will have 100 percent local decor.

“I think the great thing is that they want to support the community with our successes,” Falotico said.

Hudson could not give a date when Applebee’s will open, but noted with their advertising to hire, it could be open within a couple of months.

Faldano said he does not know, either, how soon Applebee’s will open after Compadres moves out, but its restaurant’s sign is already outside.

“They have to work inside and change everything.”

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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