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Petro Restaurants Renovated and Ready to Serve

By on November 4, 2013

A while back, a driver walked up to the entrance of the newly remodeled restaurant at Petro Angola in Indiana, and turned around before entering. A few minutes later he was back, with his hair combed and generally looking tidier all around. When asked about it, he said, “I looked around and thought that I wasn’t well-groomed enough to come into a place this nice. So I went and showered before sitting down to eat.”

It’s a nice gesture, but there’s no need to get fancy when dining at Petro, despite the sometimes dramatic transformations at the restaurants. From simple refreshes to total overhauls, the dining establishments are getting new looks, customized to reflect the surrounding area.

The basic Iron Skillet framework might be the same, but a California restaurant won’t have the same look or atmosphere as one in Illinois or Tennessee. So while drivers will feel a certain familiarity walking into a  restaurant that has been made over, there will be unique details to discover at each location.

Conversation pieces

“I look at each place as a canvas to paint,” says Jeff Biggar, one of the main decorators on the remodeling program. “I do research of the area and try to find something interesting to include.”

He’s happy to watch drivers who come to a revamped restaurant for the first time begin to explore, looking at the photos and decor throughout the restaurant.

He’s worked on so many locations that drivers are beginning to recognize him as the decorator, pointing out their favorite touches at various locations. More than one driver has recalled a favorite decorative item they saw, and one was so moved by a photo and quote she saw that she asked Biggar if she could get a copy of it.

The restaurant makeovers have been   going on for the past four years, with more to come. The plan is to revisit each location every six years for refreshes, so there will never be a time when a restaurant looks drab or dated.

“It’s exciting to watch the transformation take place,” Biggar says. “You can see how it changes the whole atmosphere.”

Let’s go to the beach

One of the most recent transformations took place at what is now Petro Ontario. The West Coast vibe comes through clearly, with surfing, ocean life and palm tree decorations. But keep looking around and other local areas of interest start to pop up. There’s a photo of Alcatraz, the famed island prison, for example, plus much more.

Cowboy cool

There’s no doubt that you are in Texas once you step into Petro Weatherford. The revamped Iron Skillet features a large bronco-busting cowboy silhouette on one wall and two enormous blue Lone Stars, along with longhorn steers, wagon wheels, rodeo images and even a photo of a mariachi band. When the remodeling was being done, the location also added a Popeyes, for more dining options.

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