PRINCETON — Construction has begun on a new Pizza Hut in Princeton with doors to the new facility expected to be open next March.
John Addis, co-owner of JV Enterprises of Illinois and based in Kewanee, which owns the franchise for the Princeton restaurant on North Main Street, said this week the process first began about 10 years ago when a house was acquired and demolished just south of the current Pizza Hut.
“We had plans some day at that time to build a new one,” he said. “The new building will be 2,700 square feet and have a drive through, which isn’t normal for Princeton. It will have seating for 100 people and include a full salad bar and buffet.”
Addis said many Pizza Huts are eliminating the salad bar and buffet, but he and his wife, Vanessa, decided to keep this in the new Pizza Hut in Princeton because of its popularity with customers.
“We will have more open seating and not be divided by walls as it is now,” he added. “We will have TVs and different decor.”
The current Pizza Hut was first built in 1973 on its current Princeton site and has had three additions to it throughout the years.
Addis said the construction schedule has the building going up with a roof on it by November. Interior work will then be completed during the winter months. In the spring, the new restaurant will be readied to open and the old structure will be torn down. Parking spaces for the new restaurant will then be placed where the current restaurant building is now located.
Addis said his company owns 11 Pizza Huts in Illinois, and he has remodeled or relocated other Pizza Huts since 2008. Princeton Pizza Hut is the last one to be remodeled.
The Addises own Pizza Huts in Peru, Ottawa, Streator, Milan, Channahon, Wilmington, Orion, Geneseo, Colona and Kewanee.
“Princeton has been a excellent store for us,” he said. “For 40 years, we have been proud to be part of this community. The city has been more than excellent to us and more than accommodating to meet our needs for the new building.”
Addis said he has always liked the location of the Princeton Pizza Hut on North Main Street, and many customers have asked them to stay there instead of moving closer to the interstate like other restaurants have done throughout the years.
Tim Parry, area manager, has been with Pizza Hut for 28 years, while Heather McAlvey, current store manager, has been with the company for 20 years.
Addis has been with the company for 34 1/2 years. He started out in high school in 1979 with Moss Management, the former owners of some of the area Pizza Hut franchises, and worked for them through college until he became a manager from 1986-88.
He became area manager in 1988, a partner and vice president of the company in 1995, and then president in 2000. In 2008, he started JV Enterprises with his wife.
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