By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
The owners of Hermitage Pizza Hut said this week they plan to demolish the restaurant and build a new one on the same spot.
“The Kohl’s development was a big part of the decision,” said Joe Borgia, director of construction and maintenance for Atlantic Development Corp., the Erie-based owner of the eatery and 27 other Pennsylvania Pizza Huts.
Levey and Co., Akron, is building a retail development to the south and west of Pizza Hut that will be anchored by a Kohl’s department store. Levey and Atlantic swapped small pieces of land to accommodate each other and Pizza Hut customers will use the Levey access roads.
Atlantic has been going over all of its restaurants, rebuilding some, remodeling others, and the Hermitage restaurant at 400 S. Hermitage Road has been on the radar for some time.
“We hadn’t gotten to the point where it got to the top of the list,” Borgia said. “The Kohl’s development pushed it up there.”
The new building will have large screen televisions in all four corners of the dining room, a larger dining room – 90 seats, up from 70 – a stone fireplace and a high, exposed beam ceiling.
“It’s a much warmer building,” Borgia said. “It’s got a bigger feel.”
In the warmer months, diners can enjoy their meals on a patio.
Some of the kitchen equipment will be updated, making for a more efficient kitchen that cuts production times, he said.
The carryout area will feature a display screen so customers will be able to monitor the progress of their order.
Hermitage Planning Commission recommended approval of the land development Monday, sending it to city commissioners.
Atlantic hopes to demolish the building in April and build the new one in about three months.
“Unfortunately, we’ll have to be down that amount of time,” Borgia said. “When we’ve done this before, we’ve had great response from our customers.”