Reporter's Notebook

A driving force?


Car-dealership venues draw attention

Ivy Bake Shoppe in Burlington, Iowa, car dealership

My recent article on car dealerships becoming non-traditional sites for restaurant operations revved up a larger-than-usual amount of email interest.

A number of messages came from operators interested in pursuing such an avenue for development, but I also got a few notes from restaurant and catering-company owners doing something similar.

For example, Martha H. Wolf, a co-owner of the the Ivy Bake Shoppe in downtown Fort Madison, Iowa, said she and her business partner Susan Welch Saunders have operated an Ivy Bake Shoppe in the Shottenkirk Superstore (a Ford, Kia and Jeep dealership) in Burlington, Iowa, since 2002.

“We serve around 150 customers a day, serving 7 a.m. – 2 p.m., six days a week,” Wolf said. “We have even sold five cars for the dealership of customers coming for lunch and then seeing a car, taking it for a spin and buying it.”

In Long Island, N.Y., the Ferrari Maserati dealership, which opened in May of last year, hired celebrity caterer and event planner Andrea Correale to provide special-event foodservice.

“The loft-like space has become an extremely popular Long Island place for corporate events, social events, bar and bat mitzvahs, birthday parties and product launches,” said Melissa Lee Calderon, a press representative.

The dealership also launched a monthly culinary event called “The Experience,” featuring such luminaries as chef Craig Hopson of New York’s Le Cirque Restaurant.

An “Experience” event on Jan. 14 will feature “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice, who will showcase recipes from her cookbook, "Fabulucious.”

Contact Ron Ruggless at
Follow him on Twitter: @ronruggless

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Reporter's Notebook?

Reporter's Notebook is NRN's newsroom blog, where our editors give their points of view on news happening in the restaurant business.


Lisa Jennings

Follow @livetodineout From the Los Angeles office, Lisa Jennings covers companies based in the West, including California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Alaska and...

Ron Ruggless

Ron Ruggless covers the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. He joined Nation's Restaurant News in 1992 after working 10 years in...
Tweets from NRN

Latest Videos
Blog Archive
Penton Restaurant Group

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×