Swensons, Boardman

Swensons Offers Samples from Food Truck

BOARDMAN, Ohio – Stacy Zedaker of Poland said she ate at a Swensons Drive-In restaurant for the first time not long after moving to Ohio from York, Pa., and is looking forward to having one in her backyard.

She was among dozens of people who turned out Monday evening to sample the Akron-based restaurant’s offerings from a food truck just yards from where the chain is building its first Mahoning Valley location, 1247 Boardman-Poland Road.

“Their food was really good. So I wanted to come out and try it before they opened,” she said. 

Music from the 1980s and ‘90s blared from loudspeakers and a cornhole game was set up near the line where people waited for 5 p.m., when the Swensons food truck would begin dispensing selections from the restaurant’s menu.

Swensons was giving out free Galley Boys, its signature double cheeseburgers, to the first 100 people in line, and other items also were available for sale.

Founded in Akron in 1934, Swensons serves burgers, shakes and other items. The drive-in restaurant has no dining room, so people order from and are served at their vehicles.

The Boardman restaurant will join Swensons 16 other locations, according to a news release. It is expected to open this summer.

“Youngstown feels like an extension of home for us,” Kevin Howley, senior director of marketing, said Monday. “It’s one of those markets that when we look at a map, it just feels like a natural extension.” 

In addition, he said the market was a good trade area with strong business development.

The people who turned out Monday night were a mix of those like Zedaker who were familiar with Swensons and others who were unfamiliar with the brand.

Zedaker, one of about 50 people in line by 4:45 p.m., said she enjoyed the burgers and the fried zucchini when she ate at Swensons before.

“I like that they came to your car and served you. That was neat,” she added.

Kristina Goshorn of Boardman said she saw on Facebook that Swensons was giving out Galley Boys and decided to come over after she got off work at 4 p.m. She had eaten at a Swensons around last fall.

“It was something different,; she said. “I had the caramel apple milkshake and that was really what got me liking Swensons.”

Jim Young of Boardman said he hadn’t heard of Swensons before yesterday.

“My wife told me about it so we’re coming to see what it’s all about,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what they’re like.”

Other Swensons could be on tap for the Mahoning Valley, but Howley wasn’t committing to additional restaurants Monday.

“The first priority is going to be to get it right and earn the business,” he said. If the team at the Boardman restaurant can do that, the chain would “absolutely” consider additional area locations.  

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.