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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Denny's to open in early November

  • The new Denny's restaurant in Rolla expects to be open in less than a month, according to Aaron Slaughter, the eatery's new Rolla franchise owner and general manager.
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  • The new Denny's restaurant in Rolla expects to be open in less than a month, according to Aaron Slaughter, the eatery's new Rolla franchise owner and general manager.
    Work will begin this week to transform the old Shoney's restaurant located at 1419 Martin Springs Drive to a new Denny's restaurant, said Slaughter, who spoke by phone to the Daily News Friday.
    Shoney's closed its doors Jan. 25, 2013.
    Renovation of the 5,400-square-foot building could start Wednesday, Slaughter said, and work expenses could be around around $50,000.
    "We're waiting on bids from contractors," Slaughter said.
    Because there is not as much work as initially expected, the restaurant is scheduled to open around Sunday, Nov. 3.
    Slaughter said initially as many as 80 to 100 people may be hired, but that number could trickle down to around 50. A job fair will be held Oct. 11-13 at the Martin Springs Drive building. Interested applicants can come by between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. for interviews.
    Slaughter's father is the franchise owner of three Denny's locations in California. His father opened his first franchise in 2004. The Rolla location will be Slaughter's first franchise site.
    While Slaughter is from California, he has a local connection, which helped in his decision to open a new Denny's in Rolla.
    "My grandpa lives in Dixon and he said that Rolla is a really nice town and a really busy one," Slaughter said.
    Slaughter's investment group is called Opee Enterprise, Inc., and he has signed a contract with the Denny's corporation that allows Slaughter to open any new Denny's location in Missouri along the I-44 corridor between Joplin and St. Louis over the next five years. This is not the same franchise owner as the former Denny's in Rolla, which was located on North Highway 63, where Buffalo Wild Wings is being built now.
    The Phelps-Maries County Health Department issued a closing order to that Denny's after a routine inspection conducted Aug. 24, 2011, listed 19 critical violations and 47 non-critical violations.
    "We're 100 percent different people," Slaughter said.
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