The conversion of a former Pizza Hut south of Newark into a diner is continuing.
The sign is up and the work continues inside. However, no other information has surfaced on Smiley’s Diner off Christiana Road (Route 273).
Major renovations have taken place at the location, including new heating and air-conditioning systems.
The restaurant will face off against a long-running Denny’s location and the popular Metro Diner. The florida-based chain that has drawn customers to a location a short distance away from Smiley’s.
Metro found a following by converting a former Wawa market off Ogletown-Stanton Road. Another Metro Diner is planned in Middletown.
On the plus side, Smiley’s is close to I-95 and comes with a tall sign aimed at attracting travelers.
Pizza Hut has steadily shut down dine-in locations as it moves to the crowded carry-out-delivery market that includes Domino’s, Little Caesar’s and Papa John’s.
The pizza chain and franchisees were never able to find a successful formula beyond pizza at its dine-in spots.
The area is now down to two dine-in Pizza Huts in the Prices Corner area off Kirkwood Highway and in Elkton, MD. Locations on Capitol Trail near Newark and near the New Castle Airport were razed.
A former Pizza Hut on Veale Road in north Wimington is the site of the Sage Diner.