Company News

Raising Cane’s Targets Spring Opening in Boardman

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The operator of the new Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers under construction in Boardman is projecting an April or May opening for the restaurant, he says.

Framing is nearly complete on the restaurant, which is being built at 450 Boardman-Canfield Road, says Eric Ongaro, president of Raising Cane’s franchisee RCO Limited, which will operate the restaurant. RCO opened its first Raising Cane’s in Columbus in 2004, expanding to Cincinnati in 2015, Dayton in 2017 and the Cleveland area last year.

The opening is “just going to depend on the weather and construction,” he says, adding that hiring already has started.

Founded in 1996 in Baton Rouge, La., the restaurant chain features chicken tenders, crinkle-cut fries and coleslaw. The Boardman restaurant, Raising Cane’s first in the Mahoning Valley market, will be the 31st in Ohio and 441st in the chain nationwide.

RCO’s northeastern Ohio director, who lives in Canfield, has “been in our ear for a while” about the Mahoning Valley market, Ongaro says.

“It just made sense logically. When we looked at the landscape of northeastern Ohio, Youngstown has everything that we’re looking for,” the president says. “It checks all the benchmarks that we’d be looking for in terms of customer base, in terms of our ability to partner with the community and partner with the local youth sports and school programs.”

The Boardman restaurant will feature a new prototype design and will be the first to have a double drive-thru, according to a news release, with a patio area for outdoor dining.

Inside, the restaurant will feature furniture and finishes that will make it unique among the other Ohio restaurants, Ongaro says. It also will be decorated with graphics and materials that “pay homage” to the community, he added.

“That’s a really important pillar of our business model,” he says.

Records from the Mahoning County Auditor’s office show Boardman Cherrywood LLC purchased the site for $1.3 million.

The total declared value for the project is $1.9 million, the same entity reported to Krista Beniston, Boardman Township director of zoning and development. The building under construction will be 3,878 square feet.

The franchisee acknowledged there are additional sites in the area under consideration for more restaurants “when the time makes sense.” The company already is looking in Niles and other surrounding communities.

“We’re committed to growing in the state of Ohio and we’re committed to growing at the right pace. That’s very important for us,” Ongaro says.

Pictured: The Raising Cane’s under construction in Boardman is expected to open in April or May.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.