Covelli Enterprises will open first drive-through DQ Monday

Staff report


Covelli Enterprises will open its latest Dairy Queen Grill & Chill at 5790 Mines Road near the Eastwood Mall Complex on Monday.

The drive-through restaurant is the first that Covelli Enterprises — the nation’s largest Panera Bread franchisee with 240 stores in operation — has built and opened on its own.

The Warren-based company has been growing as of late; it recently acquired five Dairy Queen locations in the Mahoning Valley and another in Erie, Pa. In May, the company opened two DQ Grill & Chills, alongside two Panera Breads, at the Glacier Hills and Mahoning Valley turnpike plazas at mile post 237 in New Springfield. The company became interested in the franchise about two years ago when it was planning with the Ohio Turnpike Commission, which wanted more options at the travel stops.

“First of all, I love Dairy Queen ice cream. It’s been around for a long time, and it’ll probably be around for another 100 years,” said owner Sam Covelli. “We felt it was a good complement to what we’re doing with Panera Bread, and the Mahoning Valley is a good place to get our feet wet with the new locations.”

Covelli said Panera Bread remains the company’s main growth driver, and he’s focusing much of his attention on that franchise. Covelli owns and operates Panera locations in four other states and Canada. The company also owns five O’Charley’s restaurants.

In addition to openings in other markets, Covelli Enterprises plans to open its 250th Panera Bread on Market Street in Boardman in the near future.

Doors will open at the new Niles location Monday at 10:30 a.m. A grand-opening celebration will last until next Saturday with special discounts each day for all customers, along with $1 Mini Blizzards from 3 to 6 p.m. each day.

Giveaways and buy-one-get-one deals also will be a part of the celebration.

DQ Grill & Chills offer a full menu, including lunch and dinner options such as chicken strips, burgers and fries.

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