Timberlanes owners get franchise for Quaker Steak & Lube

SALEM — There’s no date set for opening the new Quaker Steak & Lube in the lower level of the Timberlanes Complex, but franchisee Brooke Pidgeon said Thursday “we’ll keep everybody updated on opening dates and job opportunities.”

Quaker Steak & Lube announced the partnership with Brooke and his wife Brandy in a published press release Thursday, and even tweeted “Salem, Ohio we’re coming for you!”

For Brooke and Brandy, it’s the final piece to complete the Timberlanes Complex — a deal that’s been two years in the making to fill the empty space fronting Penn Avenue that formerly housed Wallaby’s restaurant and many years ago the Pump Room. Quaker Steak & Lube is a recognizable name, too, a restaurant that people in the community already know.

“We were impressed with Quaker Steak’s management staff. The relationship the vice president had with Brandy and I, we felt comfortable,” Brooke said.

He added that the company’s business model coincided with their business philosophy and fit with what they’re doing.

“They understand the community outreach and how important it is to Salem,” he said.

Since purchasing the Timberlanes building at 544 E. Pershing St. several years ago, the Pidgeons worked to gradually reopen and rebrand each section, starting with Boneshakers restaurant and the Grand Ballroom, then the Stables hotel, putting an emphasis on quality and excellence and community service. When the temperatures took a nosedive last winter, they made rooms available for the homeless and they also offered jobs to employees of the historic Old Stagecoach Inn after a fire ravaged the restaurant.

“The community has been so supportive of what we’re doing and our staff is just terrific,” Brooke said, praising their talented staff at Boneshakers. “Their knowledge really helped in making the decision.

This Quaker Steak & Lube will be smaller version, but will offer the full menu of famous wings, burgers and more and according to Brooke, won’t conflict with the Boneshakers restaurant upstairs.

According to the press release, Quaker Steak & Lube, which is based in Westlake, “has spent more than two years reshaping and redefining the brand to position it for strategic growth, much of which will come through franchise development. The restaurant chain’s leadership team has elevated the brand from new and improved menu offerings to enhanced service standards, all supported by a fully cohesive marketing strategy. These efforts are proving to be fruitful, as the brand continues to attract the attention of new franchisees around the country.”

“With our focus on strategic growth, Quaker Steak & Lube is very excited to be bringing our iconic brand with an energetic atmosphere and quality food to new fans across the country,” Vice President Bruce Lane said in the press release. “We welcome Brooke and Brandy to the Quaker Steak family and look forward to helping them achieve immense success in their market.”

Quaker Steak & Lube has 42 locations in a dozen states across the United States, featuring gas station memorabilia, classic cars, motorcycles, entertainment and of course, the food.

Brooke said they’ll be working with Quaker Steak & Lube personnel to get up and running and have already had several meetings where details have been discussed regarding the layout and decor. There have already been some inspections, too. He said the kitchen will be well-equipped and there shouldn’t be any hiccups, but he was reluctant to give any dates for the possible opening just in case.

Announcements for jobs and the progress toward opening will be announced via the Salem News, and the Timberlanes Complex website and Facebook page.

“I thank everyone for their continued support and growth of our complex,” he said.