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Former Bob Evans in Dunkirk becoming financial institution

Giving credit

Pictured from left are: Daniel J. Heitzenrater executive assistant of the Chautauqua County executive; Richard Purol, Dunkirk town supervisor; Juan Pagan, town of Dunkirk board member; John Felton chief executive officer of Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union; Mel Feather, board president SCFCU; Ryan Olson, President GL Olson; and Randall S. Knisley, Larson-Karle Architects and Taras Korol, vice president of GL Olson.

New life is coming to a prominent property near the Route 60 Thruway interchange.

Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union (SCFCU) announced in a press release that it is redeveloping the former Bob Evans restaurant building. It plans to open a branch there this fall.

Construction work on the site started back in April and continues. A banner placed on the letter board below the Bob Evans sign signals SCFCU’s presence.

According to the press release, “We currently have branches in Clymer, Lakewood, Jamestown, Cherry Creek and Brocton. Additionally, SCFCU is operating three high school based branches overseen by SCFCU staff, run by students. We have long desired a location in the north county.”

SCFCU thanked town of Dunkirk Supervisor Richard Purol and County Executive P.J. Wendel for their assistance.

The credit union branch will replace a restaurant that was once wildly popular, but saw sales decline due to workforce issues that negatively affected service. Still, Bob Evans hung on until the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020. With its dining room shut down, the restaurant tried to make a go of it for a few weeks with carry-out orders.

However, by the end of April, it had completely and permanently closed. A “for sale” sign appeared on the property by summer.

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