Hur­ri­cane Grill closes Elkton lo­ca­tion

Cecil Whig - - BUSINESS -

Hap­pen­ing this week around the county ...

If you are like a lot of peo­ple in Elkton, you may be won­der­ing what hap­pened to Hur­ri­cane Grill & Wings in the Vil­lage at Elkton.

The eatery closed at the end of Au­gust after four and a half suc­cess­ful years, ac­cord­ing to Melissa Perl­man, pub­lic re­la­tions di­rec­tor for the par­ent com­pany in Del­ray Beach, Fla.

“They had a lot of suc­cess. We heard there were some great years there,” Perl­man said of the fran­chise owned by Rob Car­lozzi and Chris Polizzi. “It was a fran­chise de­ci­sion, not cor­po­rate.”

The Whig reached out to both men and got no re­sponse.

Perl­man said since the lo­cal restau­rant opened in Fe­bru­ary 2013, there has been a change in the di­rec­tion of the na­tional com­pany.

“We’ve been re­view­ing the area and the mar­ket,” Perl­man said. “The de­mo­graphic was not in line with where we were go­ing.”

But Perl­man said as Ce­cil County grows, there may be an­other Hur­ri­cane Grill.

With 100 new eater­ies go­ing up na­tion­wide, Perl­man said Hur­ri­cane Grill is “in an ac­tive phase of growth” with a fo­cus on fast ca­sual and dock­side styles of restau­rants.

“We’re bet­ter off with a cou­ple of lo­ca­tions in Hager­stown and Ar­ling­ton,” Perl­man said. “It bet­ter meets the needs of our cus­tomers.” *** After a long hia­tus, the Fes­ti­val of Trees is com­ing back to Ce­cil County. The ben­e­fi­ciary of this fes­tive hol­i­day event will be CASA of Ce­cil County.

Gi­u­lia Hodge, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the county Court Ap­pointed Spe­cial Ad­vo­cates (CASA), which helps chil­dren in the foster care sys­tem, said busi­ness spon­sors are be­ing sought for each of the trees to get dec­o­rated and go on dis­play inside the West Street Vil­lage in North East.

“El­iz­a­beth Felts has do­nated two stores to the cause,” Hodge said of the owner of the build­ing that houses sev­eral busi­nesses within its walls on Main Street.

In ex­change for a $100 do­na­tion, busi­nesses can have their name dis­played with a tree, each dec­o­rated with a dif­fer­ent dis­play.

“If they don’t want to dec­o­rate the tree, they can have a non­profit do it,” Hodge said Monday.

Trees must be pur­chased by Oct. 25 and dec­o­rated be­tween Oct. 27 and 29.

Fes­ti­val Of Trees be­gins Nov. 2 and runs through Dec. 2. A silent auc­tion will raise funds for CASA and give the win­ner of each a beau­ti­ful ar­ti­fi­cial tree with all its dec­o­ra­tions.

Hodge said the Fes­ti­val of Trees that was for­merly held each year at the Ar­mory in Elkton was a suc­cess­ful event. Ac­cord­ing to Judy Cox, former Ris­ing Sun mayor, there were three such fes­ti­vals to ben­e­fit the Ce­cil County YMCA in the late 1990s. Cox re­called that $30,000 was raised in the 1996 event.

Hodge said peo­ple are get­ting ex­cited about its re­turn.

“So far the re­sponse has been out­stand­ing,” she said.

For more in­for­ma­tion call CASA at 410-996-3025 or go to www.ce­cil­casa.org. *** How many man­u­fac­tur­ers do you think are lo­cated in Ce­cil County? Bon­nie Grady, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Ce­cil County Cham­ber of Com­merce found out after weeks of re­search.

“Only eight to 10 showed up on our list as man­u­fac­tur­ers,” Grady said. “We knew there had to be more than that.”

Un­der the def­i­ni­tion of the Stan­dard In­dus­trial Clas­si­fi­ca­tion, Grady and her team dis­cov­ered hun­dreds of pos­si­bil­i­ties in­clud­ing land­scap­ers, winer­ies and print­ers, which are con­sid­ered man­u­fac­tur­ers.

With help from the Ce­cil County Pub­lic Li­brary, the cham­ber de­vel­oped a more com­plete list of po­ten­tial man­u­fac­tur­ers in the county.

“Then we scrubbed the list to see who was still in busi­ness,” she said.

From there, let­ters were mailed. If any let­ters came back un­able to be de­liv­ered, that busi­ness came off the list.

“We got down to just un­der 100,” she said.

More than 20 of those firms were rep­re­sented last month at the first Man­u­fac­turer’s Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Lun­cheon.

“But 80 per­cent of those who at­tended were not man­u­fac­tur­ers,” she noted. “It’s in­ter­est­ing how it de­vel­oped.”

Grady said peo­ple were so en­gaged in con­ver­sa­tion at the Sept. 28 lun­cheon she had trou­ble get­ting them to the ta­bles to start the func­tion. Top­ics of dis­cus­sion in­cluded how to get good work­ers and how to keep them, es­pe­cially for smaller or­ga­ni­za­tions now com­pet­ing with em­ploy­ment giants such as Ama­zon and Lidl.

“How do I keep one or two when they hire hun­dreds?” and “If I find some­one, of­ten they don’t have the skills I need,” were among the ques­tions seek­ing an­swers.

From that lun­cheon, Grady has started con­struc­tion of a Man­u­fac­turer’s Ini­tia­tive, which will form a round­table to hash out those and other ques­tions.

“It will be driven by the par­tic­i­pants,” she said, com­par­ing it to the non­profit round­table, which is also shep­herded by the cham­ber.

From there, the ini­tia­tive will ex­plore the fea­si­bil­ity of be­com­ing a “Work Ready Com­mu­nity.”

Lastly, there would also be the cre­ation of an an­nual Man­u­fac­turer’s Day.

“They all liked Grady said.

Busi­ness Beat is a weekly col­umn on busi­ness hap­pen­ings in Ce­cil County. If in­ter­ested in hav­ing your busi­ness fea­tured in this col­umn, con­tact Jane Bellmyer at jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com or 443-245-5007. that,”

DATE BAND

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Hur­ri­cane Grill & Wings in the Vil­lage at Elkton Shop­ping Cen­ter closed at the end of Au­gust, even though a cor­po­rate spokes­woman called the lo­cal restau­rant suc­cess­ful.

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