Dunkin' brewing plans to build in Slippery Rock

MONICA PRYTS | Allied NewsDunkin’ will opening a restaurant at the site of the former Sheetz convenience store in downtown Slippery Rock.

SLIPPERY ROCK – A popular coffee shop has selected downtown Slippery Rock for its newest location in the region.

Construction is expected to start in a few weeks on Dunkin’ at the corner of South Main and and West Cooper streets, said Anthony Braun, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Heartland Restaurant Group.

“We’re excited to be involved in the community,” he said.

Heartland is a Pittsburgh-based franchisee that owns numerous Dunkin’ and Baskin Robbins establishments in western Pennsylvania.

The Slippery Rock Dunkin’ will be built at the former Sheetz site, 304 S. Main St. The building has been vacant since 2013 and will be demolished.

Sheetz opened a new gas station and convenience store just up the road at Franklin and North Main streets.

There are multiple Dunkin’ restaurants in surrounding counties, and the newest one in the South Hills of Pittsburgh is similar to the plans that Heartland has for Slippery Rock.

“It’s been so well received by the community,” Braun said the South Hills Dunkin’.

The updated model features roll-up garage doors, outdoor seating, an expanded menu with more frozen beverages, coffee, lattes and breakfast sandwiches, and a new espresso platform.

“We’re really excited about our next generation concept,” he said.

Dunkin’ has been doing well in college towns, and Braun said he expects the restaurant will resonate with Slippery Rock University students, especially since the eatery will be within walking distance of the school.

There will be 40 seats inside plus a patio, and he pictures students meeting up there to socialize and study. Heartland is eyeing a mid-January grand opening.

“We also want to be easily accessible to the community,” he said of the location right in town.

There will not be a drive-thru window for ordering. The dining room will be large, and Dunkin’ is planning for a lot of foot traffic.

The main entrance will face Main Street, and Heartland is not yet sure if the restaurant will be open 24 hours a day, Braun said.

Dunkin’ will employ up to 35 people, and construction will take about 12 weeks.

“It’ll come along quick,” he said.

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