IHOP’s loss is Toledo’s gain, as the restaurant's former building has been transformed into one of America’s popular breakfast spots — Denny’s.
Owners Thomas Pilbeam and Jack Thompson have brought the 24-hour, 365-days-a-year diner to Sylvania Township. There are two others in the area, one in Rossford and one in Perrysburg. The newest one opening today is at the 5,100-square foot former IHOP at 6920 Central Ave.
The restaurant will have the traditional Denny's menu, including healthier eating options. It also will have free Wi-fi and flat screen TVs.
“When I was a district manager back in 1988, there was one here and I always thought this was a good market,” Mr. Pilbeam said. Though a franchise hasn’t been in Lucas county for years, they said, the geographics made it a prime location for another franchise. They currently own 27 such stores together.
“It’s a growing area, it’s near the city of Toledo and it’s right off U.S. 23,” Mr. Thompson said. “It’s a family area, and Denny’s is a family restaurant.”
Mr. Pilbeam’s son, Thomas Pilbeam, Jr., is the regional manager and lives in Sylvania. Mr. Pilbeam lives in Temperance and Mr. Thompson is from Willard, Ohio.
On Friday, a crew of hostesses and wait staff were gathered in the restaurant's eating area, which seats 150, reviewing the menu. The owners have hired about 70 people to staff the restaurant and plan to hire more, Mr. Thompson said.
The restaurant opens today but will have a grand opening, which includes more fanfare, at 9 a.m. Oct. 18. Denny’s will reward the first 100 diners that day with a free Original Grand Slam, and give out other prizes during the day.
Mr. Thompson and Mr. Pilbeam said they “absolutely” are considering opening more locations.
For information about a job, visit the restaurant or call 419-841-0748.
Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.