Old Mill may welcome new tenant

  • By Rick Shrum January 1, 2014
The Old Mill development is beginning to take shape as construction progresses behind the Olive Garden along Route 19 in South Strabane Township. - Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

This is no bum steer: LongHorn Steakhouse may be moving into Old Mill.

RARE Hospitality International Inc, Atlanta-based owner/operator of LongHorn, applied for an intermunicipal transfer of a restaurant liquor license from outside South Strabane Township for a location in the retail project that is being built.

Old Mill is the successor to The Foundry, a retail endeavor that was mostly scuttled because of land subsidence in 2008.

The township supervisors will have a public hearing on the liquor license application at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 14 at the municipal building, 550 Washington Road.

Details about the hearing appeared in a legal notice in Tuesday’s edition of the Observer-Reporter.

Andy Boyd, senior asset manager for The Staenberg Group, a shopping center developer in charge of the 104-acre project, declined to comment about any possible suitors. He did say, “We have numerous restaurants interested in the site and are working with several to get leases signed.”

The media relations department for Darden Restaurants could not be reached Tuesday. RARE is a subsidiary of Darden.

Township Manager John Stickle said if LongHorn does locate to the Old Mill, it would be in one of two outparcels being constructed to the right of Max & Erma’s restaurant – as viewed from Route 19.

Steak, chicken and seafood dominate the entree selections at LongHorn, which has more than 400 restaurants in the United States. Five are in Southwestern Pennsylvania: Robinson Township, The Waterfront in West Homestead, Village at Pittsburgh Mills in the Allegheny Valley, Cranberry and Greensburg.

J.C. Penney was the first business to move into The Foundry in March 2007. Max & Erma’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and Ross Dress-for-Less followed. But by mid-2008, only the restaurant continued to operate there. Penney’s returned to its Washington Mall site, where it remains today.

Olive Garden opened next to Max & Erma’s December 2012. They are the only existing businesses on the site, near the front of the property, an area unaffected by shifting ground.

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a business reporter in 2012. Previously, he was a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won numerous awards, including a Golden Quill, an O-R staff Golden Quill award, and four other writing awards during his 40 plus years working for daily newspapers. A lifelong Pittsburgher, he is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.

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