The grand opening of Catonsville’s new IHOP today fell on the 60th anniversary of the chain, celebrating by offering 60-cent pancakes after waiting out an afternoon thunderstorm.
The IHOP, which is located at 5525A Baltimore National Pike between Safeway and Shoppers supermarkets, first opened its doors in March, said Sunil Shrestha, who co-owns the Catonsville store with his brother.
But they waited until July for the grand opening, complete with a ribbon-cutting, signaling the start of local advertising. It also gave the brothers time enough to get to know neighborhood businesses and establish good customer service. The chain’s 60th anniversary seemed like a good time to celebrate, Shrestha, of Fairfax, Va. said.
“It’s very exciting,” Shrestha said. With red, white and blue IHOP-logo balloons around inside and outside the building for its grand opening, he said “the whole building stands out now.”
County Councilman Tom Quirk, a Democrat who represents the county’s 1st District which includes Catonsville, said he thinks “it’ll do quite well."
“It’s great to see more investment on that part of Route 40," Quirk, who cut the ceremonial ribbon, said. “It’s a welcome addition.”
Shrestha and his brother, Deepak Shrestha, who own five IHOPs along I-495, chose this 4,600 square-foot-building because it made “business sense” and they wanted to stimulate employment in the area. They started off with with more than 100 employees in March, and now have between 70 or 80 employees, he said, adding the drop is typical for new businesses in their first few months.
The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day of the week, and Shrestha said some stand-out items include the joint’s signature pancakes, new burgers and omelettes.
The grand opening saw about 25 attendees, including Quirk, representatives from the Greater Catonsville Chambers of Commerce officers and Del. Charles Sydnor III, he said.
Business has been “more than expected” since they opened in March, Shrestha said, though they didn’t have a specific goal in mind. Moving forward as advertising for the Catonsville eatery kicks off, he expects business to increase gradually.
Though it downpoured leading up to the ribbon-cutting, the rain ceased when the ceremony started, he said.
“Everyone was very happy,” Shrestha said. “We’re glad to do this ceremony today.”