Herrin Arby's holds grand opening - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Herrin Arby's holds grand opening

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HERRIN, Ill. -- Residents will no longer have to drive out of town for a Beef n' Cheddar sandwich. On Friday, city leaders and Arby's workers celebrated the grand opening of the restaurant with a ribbon cutting ceremony. 

Mayor Steve Frattini says he's happy the fast food chain is now a part of the community, "We feel very blessed and fortunate that they selected us as their newest site."

He explains that residents have been anticipating the fast food chain being available in their neighborhood and it will keep money locally," The conversations that I've had around town with folks, there's a very high degree of excitement."

Tye Pollak, Senior Director of Operations for Arby's Midwest Region, says it took crews about 90 days to build the 2,400 square foot building, but plans have been in the works for about a decade. 

"We could never find the right deal whether land price or rent or whatever," Pollak explains. "It never really came to fruition." 

Now, 40 locals are employed at the restaurant. "80% of those have open availability and will be full-time employees. The other 20% are mostly high school kids," Pollak says. 

The chain is already doing it's share to give back. The first 50 customers in line were given a voucher for a free meal per week for all of 2019. 

"We had guests here at 1 o’clock in the morning," Pollak says. "We actually had about 60 people by 8 o’clock this morning and decided lets give them coffee and donuts and hand them (vouchers) out." 

The restaurant will also be giving back to local students. Pollak says for the first 30 days, proceeds from kids meals will be collected and at least $2,500 will be donated to Herrin Elementary School. 

"It's just something that we do that's unique to the community and kind of give right back, right away," Pollak says. 

The dining room will be open from 10 a.m. -10 p.m. every day, and the drive-through will be open from 10 a.m. to midnight. 

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