Shuttered Burger King reopens

Published 10:31 pm Monday, January 3, 2011

John Naparlo, owner of the Route 17 Burger King, serves a Whopper combo. The restaurant has reopened after being closed in October 2008.

There is a new location where you can purchase Whoppers in Suffolk.

An old Burger King location was revamped and opened by the Dining Company on December 8.

The original facility owned by Azhars Holding Company was closed down in October 2008 when the owners failed to pay several months worth of meal taxes.

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The facility was empty for two years before being purchased and renovated by N&R Dining, a family-owned business out of Williamsburg.

“It was good to get it back open,” said John Naparlo, co-owner of the franchise. “I’m always excited to grow and build new stores.”

The new Burger King makes use of the “BK 20/20” image which incorporates a new color scheme — red and black to emphasize flame-broiled sandwiches — an upgraded dining room with a bar-style seating arrangement, new menu items and other upgrades.

For convenience and safety, the newly opened restaurant also features an exit that leads out to Bennett’s Pasture Road, so customers headed toward the James River Bridge or headed toward Bennett’s Pasture Road no longer have to make a U-turn.

The Bridge Road Burger King employs 21 local people — everyone with the exception of management

Naparlo said his company would become more involved in the Suffolk community within the next few months. He said he hopes to begin hosting school nights, perhaps sponsoring local athletic teams and distributing coupons for free food to local schools to use as an incentive for high-performing students, much as the company has done at their Windsor Burger King location.

Because N & R Dining is a family-owned business, the owners can take the time to focus on the quality of their staff and maintain the facility Naparlo said.

“Our employees are a step above what you might find at other fast food restaurants,” Naparlo he said.

Naparlo takes pride in the fact that his family owns one of the new Burger King restaurants.

“It has a good image combined with hot and fresh food,” Naparlo said, “It is a step above other Burger Kings.”

According to Naparlo, customers have offered compliments and have shown their appreciation for the re-opening of the Route 17 Burger King.

The facility sees 400 customers on weekdays and 500-600 customers on weekend days. In December, when the Burger King was only open part of the time, employees served 6,000 cars in the drive-through alone.

“It’s a new transformation from top to bottom,” Naparlo said.