MARSHALL - It was out with the old and in with the new in two-and-a-half days at Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar in Marshall last week. In a short amount of time Applebee's updated its look but still kept its local flavor.
The Marshall and Minnesota sports memorabilia is gone from its walls, but in its place are murals depicting well-known Marshall landmarks such as the Liberty Park bandshell and scenes from Main Street Marshall in the 1930s.
Applebee's general manager Richard Dinglay said the previous photos and memorabilia on the walls were not thrown away.
Photo by Karin Elton
Applebee’s general manager Richard Dinglay stands by the bar which has been opened up and received new lighting as part of a recent remodel.
"Pep's Barbershop bought a portion and other guests bought some, and the rest we gave to Goodwill," he said.
The quick remodeling schedule made for some long days, he said.
"We shut down Sunday at 9 p.m. and opened Wednesday at 4 p.m.," Dinglay said. "We tore off the wallpaper from the walls and re-sanded the woodwork, added tilework, new outlets for all the new lights, did some landscaping outside."
Dinglay said the contractors were a "very fast group" plus his employees "pitched in wherever we needed them. They would clean up after the construction crew."
Right before the store re-opened after the remodel, the staff did a last-minute cleaning to make the restaurant sparkle.
"They detailed and cleaned everything in the restaurant and kitchen," he said. "They took pride in their work."
Dinglay said having the staff help with the remodeling gave them a feeling of ownership in their workplace.
"The staff cares about and loves not only Applebee's, but Marshall," he said.
Dinglay said Applebee's in Marshall switched from being a corporate restaurant to a franchise about a year and a half ago.
"The franchisee is one of the largest - owning from 300-400 restaurants," he said. "They shell out a lot of money to keep things fresh. They have had 168 remodels in the last year."
Dinglay said business is always good.
"We have a great location on the corner of College Drive and Highway 23," he said. "We're as busy as you want it to be if you take care of the customers."