Arooga’s gets loan package from CREDC for new HQ

Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar, the fast-growing restaurant chain, was able to secure financing for its new headquarters in Swatara Township through the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Corp.

The chamber today disclosed its role in financing the 23,000-square-foot facility at 1591 S. 19th St.

Arooga’s moved into the space in the spring.

The Dauphin County chain paid $755,000 for the building in 2015. The chamber helped Arooga’s secure a seven-year, fixed-rate loan of $673,440, with an interest rate of for 2.75 percent, through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority.

That money helped with the purchase and renovation of building.

Arooga’s also secured a $901,560 loan from First National Bank to help finance equipment purchases. The owners invested another $150,346 into the project.

In total, the project cost more than $1.7 million. The headquarters move from Susquehanna Township to Swatara Township will result in at least 14 new full-time jobs over three years.

The facility includes corporate offices, a franchise training site and a company commissary that produces several of the brand’s signature items and sauces.

The test kitchen and training area is like a mini-Arooga’s location, complete with a restaurant area and small bar to simulate the experience for new franchisees. That training had all been done in existing restaurants.

Gary Huether Jr., president and co-founder of Arooga’s, said in the spring that having the new headquarters would reduce franchise training to four weeks from six weeks.

The move also reduced operational costs as Arooga’s previously had to rent space for its commissary and for storage of its proprietary menu items.

Arooga’s has inked eight franchise deals since it began franchising in 2014.

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