Restaurants

Ironwood Steak House to open in June

IronwoodA new restaurant, called the Ironwood Steak House featuring the Black Birch Bar, is planning to open in mid-June. The restaurant combines atmosphere and high-quality cuisine to provide an upscale dining experience in a comfortable setting. Located at the private Mohawk Golf and Country Club, the Ironwood is open to the public.

The menu is still being finalized but will feature traditional steakhouse fare and limited-time specials. The remodeled kitchen also boasts a broiler to quick-sear steak with infrared heat – technology used in many high-quality steak establishments. Local Chef Jimmy Jones, with more than 20 years in restaurant experience, will be heading the kitchen.

The dining room overlooks the golf course, providing beautiful views of the green through a wall of windows. There is also a private dining area that can be closed off for private events, and limited outdoor accommodations. Together, they seat roughly 140, with an area that could be used for small entertainment. Additionally, patrons can enjoy the Black Birch Bar, a full-service bar with a lounge area, located at the entrance of the establishment.

The Ironwood is the product of a partnership of more than 40 investors looking to bring a high-end steakhouse to Seneca County. The restaurant has been in the works for quite some time, with investors split into committees for everything from marketing to personnel, to get to the finished product.

At opening, the Ironwood will serve dinner Wednesday-Saturday, 5-10 p.m. Reservations can be made using OpenTable. Outside events can also book the Ironwood Catering Service.

A sneak peek at renovations:

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Benchwarmers Restaurant and Delivery now open

20161223_141602Tiffin’s newest restaurant is celebrating their grand opening this week! First-time business owners Brandyn Banks-Sherer and Jason Miller have opened Benchwarmers, located at 105 Allen St. (formerly Megan’s Alpine), a restaurant serving traditional American food for dine-in, carry-out or delivery.

Banks-Sherer and Miller met working together at a restaurant, and decided that they would like to build a new restaurant together. “I’ve never worked with anyone like Jason,” Banks-Sherer said. “He’s very motivated.” Miller agreed: “We gelled really well together and we were both ready to work for ourselves.”

Plans for the new venture started taking shape in February 2016, and the partners put together a complete business plan over the next couple months. They found a location and building renovations began in summer. Banks-Sherer and Miller decided on a theme for “the sports lover who didn’t play sports.” The interior features the benches from the old Carey school, so that patrons can “ride the pine,” as well as local sports memorabilia. “There are no pro-sports teams’ jerseys or anything like that,” Banks-Sherer said. “It’s about Tiffin.”

The menu features burgers (including their signature, “The Benchwarmer”), sandwiches, wings, and fresh fries. They have also decided to keep on a favorite menu item from the Alpine: the breaded cutlet sandwich, affectionately named “The Alpine.” The best part is, all of the menu items are available for delivery, even late at night.

The opening hours are Sunday – Thursday 11:00AM – 12:30AM and Friday and Saturday 11:00AM – 1:30AM with delivery until close, dining room open until 10:00PM, and late hours for sporting events.

Stop by or call in!

AJ’s Heavenly Pizza continues to grow

20170104_164712AJ’s Heavenly Pizza has been a Tiffin staple since 1981. Owner John Hill recently invested significantly in his business, painting the exterior, implementing a new point of sale system in the Tiffin and Findlay stores, and installing a new oven and hood to decrease order turn around time.

“To help the business grow, you need to find the reason for lack of growth,” John said regarding the recent improvements. “The POS has made a huge difference and so have the ovens; everything is faster.”

John said the next frontier is franchising. He and his son-in-law, Joshua Elchert – owner of the Findlay store, have been working diligently to create franchise agreement documents and manuals in order to ensure that the quality of the product and service is the same across all locations. However, the secret recipes will remain a mystery, as franchisees will receive mix packets created at the Tiffin location, meaning everything from their signature jumbo pizza to the one-of-a-kind pepperoni rolls to the house salad dressing will taste the same.

At the age of 21, John and his business partner – a childhood friend who also worked in pizza shops and, like John, a born again Christian – came from Michigan and set out to open a store in Galion. After being turned down in Galion, the pair took a wrong turn on their way to Perrysburg and found the perfect location in Tiffin. After marrying, John and his wife moved to Oklahoma, where they lived for nine years and started two AJ’s locations. Missing the small town life, John and his family moved back to Tiffin. Today, AJ’s is a strong family business, with John’s four children, their spouses, and his five grandchildren lending a hand. For more history of AJ’s Heavenly Pizza, click here.

Tim Hortons to open $1.4M Tiffin store

Developer receives city tax exemption to offset asbestos abatement

img_1415TIFFIN, OHIO – September 19, 2016 – Rensko Holdings, a company out of Westerville Ohio, has purchased 1630 West Market Street and is announcing today that they plan to build a Tim Hortons franchise on the property. The project will cost an estimated $1.44 million and create 35 new jobs.

Rensko owns nearly 30 Tim Hortons developments in Ohio. The company has been expanding and has identified additional growth markets for this and next year throughout the state. Tiffin is one they are targeting. Rensko is also planning to build a Tim Hortons store in Fostoria.

Jennifer Francis, Manager of New Development for Rensko Holdings, said market research and the community’s reputation has shown Tiffin to be an ideal market for a new Tim Hortons. “We are impressed with all the retail development going on in Tiffin and how the city continues to grow. We think a new Tim Hortons will be a great addition to the community,” she said.

The company tonight received final approval from the Tiffin City Council for a 50%, 10-year Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) tax abatement. Demolition is set to begin within the next 10-15 days and new construction is planned to begin in October. Developers hope to have the store completed by the end of the year. The tax savings are helping the company offset additional unanticipated development costs, including asbestos abatement.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was pleased with their decision to locate in Tiffin. “We continue to see growth in all sectors, from manufacturing to retail. We are very happy to welcome Tim Hortons as the newest national brand in our West Market Commercial Corridor.”

Tim Hortons® Overview

TIM HORTONS®, part of Restaurant Brands International, is one of North America’s largest restaurant chains operating in the quick service segment. Founded as a single location in Canada in 1964, TIM HORTONS® appeals to a broad range of consumer tastes, with a menu that includes premium coffee, hot and cold specialty drinks (including lattes, cappuccinos and espresso shots), specialty teas and fruit smoothies, fresh baked goods, grilled Panini and classic sandwiches, wraps, soups, prepared foods and other food products. As of December 31, 2015, TIM HORTONS® had more than 4,400 system wide restaurants located in Canada, the United States and the Middle East. More information about the Company is available at www.timhortons.com.

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.

Tiffin Mall purchased by Toledo development company

Investors working on future plans

tiffin mall signTIFFIN, OHIO – September 3, 2016 – Key Hotel and Property Management (KHPM), a Toledo-based real estate development and management company, announced today that it is moving forward with purchasing the Tiffin Mall for $2.2 million from Tiffin Mall Realty, which itself is owned by the Kohan Retail Investment Group out of New York. The firm is currently developing an investment and development strategy for the property, which it hopes to unveil in the coming months.

KHPM CEO Steve Roumaya believes that Tiffin is a community on the move and is ready for additional growth. “For the last couple of years, the retail market has been hot in Tiffin, and we see that there is significant demand for additional shopping options,” he said. “We look forward to working with all existing mall tenants as well as other area businesses to help them succeed, and we appreciate all the support we are receiving from the City of Tiffin and SIEDC.”

Roumaya established Key in 1994 and has been involved in several successful development projects in Ohio and Michigan, including Bancroft Village and Suder Shoppes in Toledo, Navarre Crossings in Oregon, and River Valley in Monroe, Michigan. Ohio.

The Tiffin Mall opened in 1980 and was built by Developers Diversified Realty (DDR) based out of Cleveland, Ohio. In 2005, DDR constructed the movie theater now occupied by Cinemark, and they sold the mall in 2012 to the Kohan Retail Investment Group. The mall currently has 28 retail spaces inside, as well as the theater and two outbuildings. Most of the spaces are currently vacant.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was pleased with the announcement, saying “We welcome Key’s investment and desire to develop the site here in Tiffin. We are excited about continuing to create an environment where people do not have to leave to shop and dine, and we think the project can again help continue our retail momentum.”

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at http://www.senecasuccess.com.

 

Jolly’s signs lease on downtown location

jollys lairdLocal restaurant moves to Laird Arcade

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 25, 2016 – Today, Jolly’s Drive-In Owner Diane Hassinger signed a lease for a space in downtown Tiffin’s historic Laird Arcade.

Hassinger says the downtown location is the perfect next step for her business. “I was looking for a smaller space, where I could still hold store hours but also prepare food and root beer for the food truck,” Hassinger said. “This location also includes a drive-through window that I hope will give customers some of the nostalgia of the root beer stand.”

The new location faces West Market Street and includes a drive-through window in the alley behind the Laird Arcade. Orders can be called in by phone and picked up at the drive-through window, or customers can come in to order. Hassinger plans to relocate many of the original signs and memorabilia from the original root beer stand, including the front windows signed by Jolly’s employees over the years.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is pleased to see the local brand relocate in downtown Tiffin. “Anyone can see that the downtown is transforming, which makes it a desirable place to open a business,” he said. “And it’s great that we get to keep Jolly’s a Tiffin tradition.”

The restaurant will be open 11 a.m – 5 p.m., four days a week. The Jolly’s food truck will also appear at different locations around town. Hassinger will announce the opening date later this year. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/JollysDriveIn/.

About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at http://www.senecasuccess.com.

New Greek/pita restaurant to open downtown

 

20160817_162802

Left to right: Property Manager Tyler Shuff, Owner Fotis Diamantopoulos, SIEDC Downtown Main Street Manager Amy Reinhart and Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz

Put N Pita signs lease with Laird Arcade

 

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 18, 2016 – This week, Fotis Diamantopoulos signed a lease for a space in the Laird Arcade at 116 South Washington Street, where he plans to open a Greek and build-your-own pita restaurant, called Put N Pita, this winter.

The son of Greek immigrants, Fotis has lived in Tiffin for a decade, and he is following his father’s footsteps into the restaurant business. “I drive through downtown Tiffin every day and you can tell that things are changing, and I feel the vibe and want to be a part of it. My business model will include my dad’s Greek influence, an American twist and a Subway style,” he said.

Diamantopoulos said the menu is to include gyros and greek salads as well as traditional meats and all kinds of fresh produce that will be assembled to the customer’s order. In the future, he plans to expand the business into other types of ethnic foods and take-home options.

Tyler Shuff, Chairman of the Downtown Business Enhancement Committee through SIEDC said the restaurant fills two desired business categories for the community. “A Pita Pit and a Greek restaurant are on our list of businesses to recruit, and this takes care of both,” he said.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said he is happy to see a new type of restaurant opening downtown. “I am excited to see a unique healthy, quick option for lunch in downtown Tiffin,” he said.

Diamantopoulos hopes to cater to times outside of the traditional dinner hour. The starting hours for the store will be lunch time and nights as late as 3 a.m. He plans to open for business in late fall or early winter.

About the Tiffin Community Reinvestment Group

The Tiffin Community Reinvestment Group LLC. is a for-profit organization made up of community minded shareholders. The purpose of the TCRG is to encourage and promote downtown business. In 2012, Tiffin Community Reinvestment Group, LLC. purchased and now operates the Laird Building.

 About SIEDC

Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at http://www.senecasuccess.com.

Jimmy John’s opens today

20160815_111118Jimmy John’s sandwich shop opened its doors at 2161 W. Market St. in Tiffin this morning. They are open everyday 11 a.m – 10 p.m., and features a drive-through window and delivery for their “freaky fast” subs.

Franchise Owner Aaron Taylor has two stores in Sandusky and one in Fremont, and said Tiffin was the ideal market for a new store. “With the population size, two universities and the hospital, Tiffin is the perfect location,” he said.

The shop is located in a two-unit development shared with an AT&T store, which will be coming soon. Customizing the Jimmy John’s store was a $350,000 project, and it is currently staffed by 30 employees and still accepting applications.

Check out their menu here and their catering options here.

Tiffin gains 8 new restaurants in 18 months

20160531_131100.jpgTiffin has seen a tremendous amount of growth in all sectors recently, however, the restaurant business has been particularly active over the past year. Several dining establishments have opened and several more have announced intentions to open within the next month. Not only do these stores represent more choices for Tiffinites, bringing the total number of food and drink establishments in Seneca County (listed here) to more than 80, combined, the projects listed below represent well over $6 million in investment and 200 new jobs created.Learn more about some of Tiffin’s newest additions:

Coming Soon

Empire at 138The Empire at 138 is located in downtown Tiffin on South Washington Street near Madison Street, housed in a city block that was historically referred to as the “Empire Block.” In historic tradition, the restaurant owners have completely restored the interior and facade of the building, including an antique bar from another local establishment. The restaurant will be an upscale dining experience with traditional American fare made using as many local and seasonal ingredients as possible. The restaurant is a joint venture for several local business owners. Read more.

Jimmy John’s – The intention of opening a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop franchise in Tiffin was first brought to the public in October 2015. Work is progressing on the 1,500-square-foot space within a 3,750-square-foot building with a projected opening date in late-Summer or early-Fall. The shop will offer gourmet sandwiches made with natural, local ingredients and “freaky fast” delivery. Founded in 1983, the chain currently has more than 2,400 locations nationwide. Read more.

Chipotle Mexican Grill – One of the most asked-for restaurants by Tiffin residents, Chipotle announced intentions to locate in Tiffin in April 2016. The building housing the burrito chain is a $1.1 million investment including two retail spaces in addition to the Chipotle store, which should result in 40-70 new jobs. The restaurant is expected to open in early Fall. Established in 1993, Chipotle is a fast-casual dining chain focused on “Food with Integrity.” With more than 2,000 locations and 45,000 employees, Chipotle is a $4.5 billion restaurant enterprise specializing in Mission-style burritos made using high-quality, GMO-free, naturally grown and raised ingredients, and classic cooking techniques. Read more.

FroZone – FroZone is a build-your-own frozen yogurt shop opening in the Laird Arcade in downtown Tiffin in the late Summer of 2016. The store is locally owned by two young professionals. The shop will feature 12 yogurt choices and a topping bar. Customers will be able to build their own frozen yogurt bowl with as many flavors and toppings as they desire. Read more.

 

Recently Opened

Dunkin’ Donuts – The Dunkin’ Donuts and Mickey Mart opened on May 20, 2015, in the West Market Street commercial district in Tiffin. Both operations combined represent a $650,000 investment and 50 new jobs created. Dunkin’ Donuts is the world’s leading baked goods and coffee chain, serving more than 3 million customers per day. Dunkin’ Donuts sells 52 varieties of donuts and more than a dozen coffee beverages as well as an array of bagels, breakfast sandwiches and other baked goods.  Today, there are more than 11,300 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants worldwide – more than 8,000 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in 41 states in the U.S. plus the District of Columbia, and more than 3,200 international restaurants in 36 countries. Read more.

Mr. Hero – The shop is located together with the B & B Food Mart at the 263 N. Washington St. location in the “Sixer’s Corners” area and cut the ribbon to celebrate its opening last October. The franchise was an approximately $200,000 investment and added three new employees to B&B’s five-person staff. Started in 1965 on Cleveland’s west side, the chain has grown to more than 90 locations throughout northeast, northwest and central Ohio. The chain uses proprietary recipes and prides itself on the freshness of its ingredients and cooking each order when placed and not using microwaves or warming trays. Read more.

Wall Street Pub and Grille – The Wall Street Pub and Grille, located at the corner of Wall and Hall Streets in Tiffin, on the Tiffin University campus, opened its doors on June 7, 2016. The establishment is the first restaurant venture for food service provider AVI. The menu consists of burgers, wraps, flatbreads and similar fare, and the bar features 20 beers on tap as well as regional wines. The building reclaimed The Pettibone Industrial Machine Shop, and blends modern and rustic décor. Read more.

Buffalo Wild Wings – The Mastro Development Group first announced plans to open a Buffalo Wild Wings location in Tiffin in October 2014. After nearly two years in development, the restaurant opened on June 6, 2016. The 6,600 square foot “Stadia” style restaurant contains an urban look, complete with wall-to-wall big screen TVs and a patio accessible through garage doors. The entire project is a $3.2 million investment in the Tiffin community that will create 60-65 new jobs. Buffalo Wild Wings is a national restaurant chain with the mantra, “Wings. Beer. Sports.” that began in Columbus, Ohio in 1982 and now has more than 1,190 locations around the world. Read more.

 

Retail – recent projects and announcements

Pat Catans

Pat Catan’s received assistance from SIEDC with building permits

Growth in the retail sector across Tiffin has been exploding in recent months. Check out some of the projects either announced or completed (not including downtown Tiffin):

  • Arby’s: $160,000 invested.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings: $3.2 million 6,600 square foot Stadia style restaurant with the creation of 60 – 65 new jobs.
  • Chipotle: Diverse Development of Holland, Ohio announced that Chipotle intends to open a store in the three retail facility.
  • Days Inn: Joins Wyndham Hotel Group’s leading global brand and invest $1.2 million to purchase, renovate and upgrade the property.
  • Diverse Development: $1.1 million dollar investment, new center with three retail spaces. Projected creation of 40 – 70 new jobs.
  • Domino’s: $400,000 investment and 20 new jobs created.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: $650,000 invested and 50 new jobs created.
  • Hampton Inn: $4.4 million invested and 15 jobs retained.
  • Jimmy John’s: new store to be built in Tiffin (under construction).
  • Kroger Expansion: $2.1 million invested 115 jobs retained.
  • Mr. Hero: $200,000 investment into the B & B Food Mart.
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts: $430,000 invested and 6 new jobs created.
  • Pat Catan’s: Opened up a 27,000 square foot store at the Westgate Shopping Center.
  • Passov Group: has construction underway on a 3,800 square foot, two-unit center.
  • Sabaidee Coffee House: Located next to Tiffin University, provides coffee, chai, tea and other iced and warm beverages.
  • Superior Auto: $300,000 invested and 8 new jobs created.