New restaurant location opening across from outlet mall, bringing about 100 jobs

An Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar that is being built across from the Edinburgh Premium Outlets mall is expected to open next month.

The opening is tentatively planned for mid-September, said Vicki Mahaffey, spokeswoman for Cleveland-based Apple American Group, a franchising group with more than 480 Applebee’s restaurants across the United States.

Construction is nearing completion. The building and sign are up, the parking lot is to be paved by this week, and remaining work is mostly focused on the interior of the restaurant, Mahaffey said.

The restaurant will employ about 100 people, a mixture of full-time and part-time employees. A general manager already has been hired, along with more than 50 others, Mahaffey said.

When completed, Mahaffey said, the restaurant will seat about 245 guests, which is a little more than a typical Applebee’s.

Apple American Group picked the location because it seemed ideal.

“Edinburgh seems like a growing area. We like the location,” Mahaffey said. “It seemed like a prime spot we wanted to be in, and we thought it would be to our advantage and the community’s advantage to be there.”

Edin-Apple LLC bought the 2.64-acre property, at 11860 U.S. 31 North, from Land Development LLC for $1.05 million, according to Bartholomew County property records.

The Columbus- Bartholomew County Planning Department approved the site plan for the restaurant Feb. 17, planning director Jeff Bergman said.

The Edinburgh restaurant will feature a design which Mahaffey described as fresh and updated.

This Applebee’s location will continue to feature community connections, however, with photos of local high school sports teams and murals depicting the community on the walls, she said.

Customers will find familiarity with the menu and promotions, which Mahaffey said will be the same found at any of the 32 other Applebee’s the franchise group operates in Indiana.

The Applebee’s in Columbus, which opened in 1993 at 1900 E. 25th St., also is operated by Apple American Group.

Once the Applebee’s in Edinburgh opens, that’s the extent of the company’s expansion plans in the Columbus area, Mahaffey said.

About Applebee's

Applebee’s was started in 1980 by Bill and T.J. Palmer in Atlanta as T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixirs.

The name is changed to Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar in 1986.

Today, Applebee’s has about 2,000 restaurants across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Germany and the Netherlands.

The Edinburgh location will be the 33rd Applebee’s in Indiana for Apple American Group, a Cleveland-based franchisee.

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Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at johannesen@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5639.