Food, GM and Haircuts: Our Top Stories from 2019
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – After a year of major economic news locally, one story that went big with readers on The Business Journal website wasn’t surprising at all, while another showed just how interested the region is in restaurant news.
The No. 1 story in 2019 was Canfield Natives Bring New Taste to Old Perkins Building. In October, Marah Morrison reported on Brunchn’ It Up, a new restaurant slated for the former Perkins at 587 E. Main St., Canfield.
Co-owners Mark Novotny and Tracy Symons look to open their restaurant by spring and will feature “fancier brunch items and breakfast foods,” along with a dinner menu, Morrison reported.
The second-most read story for the year, Perkins Seeks TRO to Close 9 Area Restaurants, was reported in July by publisher Andrea Wood. Nine area Perkins restaurants would be ordered closed pending a temporary restraining order in U.S. District Court in Tennessee, the story reported.
Four of the most popular stories centered around Lordstown Motors Corp. and the General Motors Lordstown plant. After the last Chevrolet Cruze rolled off the assembly line there in March, speculation on what would become of the plant fueled interest in stories about its future.
Then came the advent of Lordstown Motors.
In August, George Nelson’s story, Lordstown Motors Envisions 2020 Production Start, reported on the plans outlined by company executives and included comments from elected officials, economic-development leaders and Youngstown State University President Jim Tressel.
By November, the region had confirmation of those plans as Lordstown Motors bought the plant to produce its Endurance line of all-electric pickup trucks.
In December, Wood reported that GM had lent Lordstown Motors $40 million to buy and retool the plant. That story was picked up by The New York Times, Bloomberg, Reuters and the Associated Press.
Stories rounding out the most-read top 10 were:
- Abrupt Shutdown of Falcon Transport Idles 550.
- Remembering Fred, the ‘Rotor Man.’
- Meijer, Big Lots Make Moves at Eastwood.
- In Depth: Vindicator to Cease Publication Aug. 31.
On Facebook, there was some overlap with popularity, as the Perkins and GM/Lordstown Motors mortgage stories reached the top 10 in engagements – clicks, likes, shares, etc.
However, economic development stories got the most engagements.
Topping the list of story posts was Amazon Leases Building for Small Distribution Center from April. Popularity was determined by engagement.
Rounding out the top 10 were:
- Cafaro Entity Buys Dillard’s Building for $8.92M in February.
- Less Than Year After Opening, Tim Horton’s Closes Store in November.
- In Canfield, Naffah to Build The Villas on Macy Lane in November.
- Ryan Says He’s Running for President in April.
- New Perkins Owner to Invest ‘Up to $1M’ in Renovations in October.
- GM, LG Chem to Announce Joint Venture in Lordstown in December.
- New Owner Gives Youngstown Cycle Tune-up in October.
The Business Journal’s signature On The Menu series had five of the 10 most-engaged video posts on Facebook.
The most popular video post on Facebook for the year was the On the Menu segment from Aug. 12 Get a Sneak Peek Inside West & Main Bar & Grill.
Rounding out the top 10 video posts on Facebook, based on minutes watched, were:
- Flashback: Ancient rock carvings beneath Ohio River in East Liverpool, from June 25.
- Wish Development underground storage, from March 13.
- After Hours | Inaugural Youngstown Tattoo Classic, from March 7.
- Local barbershops, from Jan. 8.
- Flashback: Bridge painting legacy in Campbell, from March 27.
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