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Midstate's first Jake's Wayback franchise opens in Hampden Township

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Two local men have partnered to bring the first Jake's Wayback Burgers franchise to Central Pennsylvania.

The restaurant is open for business at 25 Gateway Drive in Hampden Township, Cumberland County. Tim Benner and Joe Taylor are “50-50 partners” on the franchise, said Benner, who formerly owned an insurance office in Mechanicsburg.

“This is the first time in the restaurant business for me,” he said. “I actually ate at a Jake’s restaurant in Allentown. I liked their food and thought this was something to look into.”

Jake’s began in 1991 as Jake’s Hamburgers with a single restaurant in Newark, Del. There are now 78 Jake’s franchises in 13 states. The 14 other Pennsylvania Jake’s are mostly located in and around Philadelphia. All franchises are owner operated.

The restaurant is known for its burger creations, including a nine-patty burger, and homemade milkshakes. In August 2010, the restaurant name changed to Jake’s Wayback Burgers.

“It’s kind of a throwback kind of restaurant and reminds you of what you got growing up, a good quality restaurant at a good price,” Benner said.

Benner said he and Taylor both have children in the restaurant business. So they decided to invest in an established restaurant franchise and let their children run the business.

Initially they looked at another popular restaurant chain that Benner declined to name.

“The people at Jake’s seemed to be a little more caring and a little more upfront on what they were hoping to accomplish and that impressed us,” he added.

The restaurant is open 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

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