Wednesday, June 29, 2016
By AMANDA TONOLI
Niles residents welcomed Primanti Bros. during a pre-opening party Tuesday evening.
Food samples, drinks and more were available every few feet throughout the new restaurant, available for taste-testing to try out Eastwood Mall’s new cuisine.
Anthony Cafaro Jr., president of the Cafaro Co., owner of the Eastwood Mall complex, said the addition of the restaurant provides variety for customers.
“There’s just something here for everyone,” he said.
Together, employees and customers energized the room with excited faces and hungry appetites ready to kick off the opening to Niles’ newest attraction.
“We are super-pumped to be in Niles,” said Jim Burchell, Primanti operations director. “We are ready to get rolling and become a great part of the community.”
Special guest Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, former world boxing champ, said he was very appreciative of such a good business in the Mahoning Valley.
The Niles site is Primanti’s second here; the first opened last September in Boardman.
Mancini, of Youngstown, used the opportunity to tell people about his foundation.
The Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini Foundation gives money raised to local charities of Mancini’s choice. Giving back to the community is something near and dear to his heart, he said.
“All of it is just great – it’s a wonderful day,” Mancini said.
General Manager Mike Gallo, who also opened the Boardman store, mirrored Mancini’s mood. As a Niles resident of 20 years, he was happy to see this store come to fruition.
Ryan Wilkinson, marketing director, said despite Primanti’s focus on expansion, coming to Youngstown warms his heart, reminding him of his home – Pittsburgh.
“The similarities between Pittsburgh and Youngstown, I think, are pretty significant in that we have a community that has a lot of hometown pride, and it’s a community that’s filled with hard-working people with some grit to it,” he said.
Loni Capan, a Primanti Bros. employee, said she was very excited to be part of Primanti’s team for the sake of the Niles community.
“I hope it becomes the community’s hottest spot,” she said.
Gallo assured the crowd that the Niles Primanti Bros. would be the hottest spot today due to the tailgate party beginning at 5 a.m. The first 100 customers to come to the store will win free sandwiches for one year at the new restaurant.