Marietta IHOP nearing completion
MARIETTA — Construction on the Marietta IHOP is just about wrapped as the project superintendent said he will be ready to turn the project over to the owner early next week.
Superintendent Danny Nickel, with RSI General Contractors out of Sunbury, Ohio, said Tuesday that all that is left to do is to add stone to the inside fireplace, do a couple paint touch-ups and have final inspections from the fire and health departments. Washington County building department official Chris Wilson said his office has been in contact with Nickel.
“They have called for above-ceiling and sprinkler inspections, but that is all I can tell you at this point. These normally happen towards the final stages of a project,” Wilson said.
Nickel said that he assumes the owner will have some final decisions but speculated a grand opening could be just a couple weeks away.
“It’s just some red tape and a few minor construction issues, but I’m ready to turn it over to Sharp on Monday or Tuesday,” Nickel said.
Sharp Holding Inc., a company based in Virginia with restaurants in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and Kentucky, owns the restaurant located at Crooked Run Lane next to Wings, Etc. This will be the first Ohio IHOP for the company.
Several snags along the way have pushed the opening of the restaurant back several times.
“I’ve been watching the progress and it seems like it’s been slow, but I’m excited to eat some breakfast,” said Brady Binegar, of Newport.
Binegar, who owns Brady’s Pest Control and shops regularly at the nearby Tractor Supply store, said that he has eaten at an IHOP one time, on vacation in Texas.
“They have good food. It’ll be nice to have another choice, though I really wish we’d get a good steak house,” he said.
A peek inside the building shows a modern design, with finished waiting and dining areas. The outside sidewalk, though now covered with snow, seems to be ready for customers.
It’s been a long wait, with word that the IHOP would begin construction starting in May 2016. Rumors have been spreading for longer than that.
“I’ve been trying to get this for five years,” said Marietta Mayor Joe Matthews. “It’s a good thing because it will provide jobs, will be good for the city income tax and I’m just happy to see any new business.”
Matthews added that he was in contact with the owners recently and was told there is no specific “grand opening” date. Some landscaping needs to be finished, depending on the weather.
Signs that say they’re hiring are posted outside of the IHOP to direct people to the Fairfield by Marriott next door. General manager Rodney Ahart referred all questions to Sharp vice president Tommy Tsitouris, who did not immediately return phone calls Tuesday.
Ahart did post on social media Monday that they are “hiring all positions…training will begin soon” and the restaurant will be “open by the end of the month.”