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Published: Monday, 3/7/2011

Bob Evans co. to spend more than $3M sprucing up tourist attraction farm and 1st restaurant


COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Bob Evans restaurant and food company is spending more than $3 million down on the farm where its founder raised his family and started the business.

Bob Evans Farms Inc. says Evans’ farm and first restaurant in Rio Grande in southeast Ohio will be restored and renovated. The Columbus, Ohio-based company says contracts were awarded last week for work that will include making over a barn into a space for receptions and meetings, and building a new music amphitheatre.

Founder Bob Evans died in 2007 at the age of 89. He started the company in 1953 and opened the first restaurant nine years later at the farm 80 miles southeast of Columbus.

Officials say an annual festival at the farm draws tens of thousands of people each fall.

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