The area’s newest Dunkin’ Donuts has opened in Cuyahoga Falls in a former bank branch.
The Dunkin’ Donuts at 1760 State Road was a former Charter One Bank branch.
Local franchise owner Ken Blum said he wasn’t looking for a location in that part of town — he has a renovated shop on Graham Road near the Stow border — but the opportunity came up and he bought the building.
Converting the former bank branch into a restaurant had some challenges, he said.
“We weren’t really looking in this neck of the woods. We think the neighborhood is on the uptick with Acme rebuilding the grocery store,” said Blum of C&P Donuts.
The building was split about 50/50 between the customer area and restaurant operations, said Blum. The former bank’s drive-thru window had to be moved slightly, but is on the same side of the building.
The location, Blum’s 17th, opened in late February. A grand opening will be held April 26.
Blum and his partners hold territorial rights to any new Dunkin’ Donuts in a U-shaped area from Avon to Akron to Aurora, or what Blum calls his “triple A” territory. It does not include Cleveland suburbs or Canton. Existing Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners, including Circle K, which operates Dunkin’ Donuts out of some of its stores, are separate.
Blum said he believes he is the largest Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owner in Northeast Ohio. He has another store under construction in Parma.
The Falls store is a bit smaller than other locations and Blum expects that the location’s drive-thru will be busier than the dining room, but said it is equipped with free Wi-Fi for customers.
The project cost roughly $500,000, he said.
Blum said he is aggressively looking for more sites for new Dunkin’ Donuts locations since he usually has three to four sites active at one time. After the Parma store opens in late May or early June, he doesn’t have any other locations.
“I’m asking my real estate brokers to scour our territory,” he said.
Separately, the franchise owners south of Blum are also building a new Dunkin’ Donuts location.
Mar-Stew Inc., which has 12 stores in its territory, which includes the southern portion of Akron south to New Philadelphia and east to Youngstown, is building a new location at the Interstate 77 and Massillon Road exit in Green.
The location is in a small strip mall with Quizno’s and an AutoZone.
The new location should be open by the end of next month, said Stew White, who runs the franchise with his father, Joe. White’s mother and father started the franchise in 1984, though his father started as a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owner in 1978 in the Youngstown area.
The Green store, near the on-ramp to I-77 South, will be the franchise’s 13th. Others are under construction in Youngstown and at the former Pizza Hut location on Wales Road in Jackson Township near Hills and Dales.
Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/blinfisherABJ and see all her stories at www.ohio.com/betty.