The borough’s newest I-HOP restaurant is set to open in April, in Tremont, and is expected to create 80 to 90 new jobs in the Bronx.
Dominick Broccoli, the former owner of Gino’s Café on Allerton Avenue, opened his first I-HOP at that location a year and a half ago.
The I-HOP at 817 Allerton Avenue is often packed during peak times on Saturday and Sunday.
“I originally owned Gino’s Café, and when I closed it, I was looking for another restaurant opportunity,” Broccoli said. “I-HOP franchises came up as an option and I bought the rights to develop all I-HOPs in the Bronx. I am currently in the process of fulfilling my obligation to open up I-HOPs in several Bronx communities.”
Broccoli said that he is focusing on areas like the south Bronx to achieve geographic diversity.
Broccoli’s second I-Hop is located in the New Horizons Shopping Mall at Vyse Avenue and E. 174 Street.
Broccoli said, “The new store is about a month away from opening and we are finished up the building right now. It is a great location; we are close to all major transportation and next to the Cross Bronx Expressway. We chose the shopping center because it is very viable and we thought that the surrounding community could use an I-HOP.”
He is bringing many of the people who used to work for him at Gino’s Café along for the ride as he opens more locations.
“My chef who has been with me for 22-years at Gino’s Café is still with me,” Broccoli said. “It was a real shocker at first for Luis and I to learn the new business because serving fast food is different.”
Broccoli’s wife serves as operations manager of the franchises, and his general manager Tariq Muqeet supervised 12 I-HOP restaurants in the Cleveland area before coming to the Bronx.
©2009 Community News Group