Construction Begins on Swensons Boardman Location

BOARDMAN TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Ground was broken today for construction of a Swensons Drive-In restaurant.

Located on U.S. Route 24 at Tiffany Boulevard, where Nicolinni’s Restaurant formerly stood, it will be the first Mahoning Valley location for the famed Akron-based chain that is known for its throwback in-car service. The restaurant is expected to open this summer.

Swensons will bring back a piece of yesteryear that hasn’t been seen in the Valley in decades. Customers never leave their car and do not enter the building, which does not have a dining room.

“It’s a drive-in,” said Kevin Howley, Swensons spokesman. “We’re focused on the on-lot experience. You park facing the building and a server will come running out to you and take your order at your car.”

A Swensons Galley Boy burger.

The server will return with the order on a tray, and customers can eat in their car or take it home.

Swensons has 16 locations in the Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati areas. It was founded in 1934 and became a regional fixture during “the roaring drive-in days of the 1950s and 1960s,” Howley said.

“It’s largely unchanged,” he said, noting that one one of its few nods to changing times is  the chain has an app for advance ordering.

Swensons specializes in burgers but has an extensive menu of diner-style favorites, including a variety of sandwiches and sides, plus shrimp, fish and chicken dinners, and milkshakes. The restaurants generally stay open late, Howley said.

“It’s quick but it’s not fast food,” he said.

To welcome Mahoning Valley residents, a food truck event will take place at the construction site on March 21 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The restaurant’s menu items will be sold that day, with the first 100 customers receiving a free Galley Boy – Swensons’ signature burger.

Howley said the Boardman location will employ 65 and will begin hiring in June.

Pictured at top: Work begins at the site of the future Swensons Boardman location.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.