Hundreds of people applied for jobs right next door to Bowling Green Ballpark this weekend. The co-founder and CEO of Hitcents, Clinton Mills, says about 450 people came to the Hitcents Park Plaza job fair interested in positions at their five new restaurants. Mills says 300 positions need to be filled, and some of those applicants received calls as early as today.
"We'll be calling people back as early as today, and setting up second interviews for people. We're going to start with the key management people and call them back and try to get those positions filled as soon as possible, looking at probablt a two to three week time to go through all that information and get everyone on board," said Hitcents co-founder and CEO Clinton Mills.
The five restaurants will include Mariah's, which will move from its current location in the historic Mariah Moore house, three "fast-casual" restaurants, and a sports bar. The new restaurants are not just an opportunity for new jobs, but another example of the changing downtown landscape. New competition can be seen from many perspectives among restaurants in downtown Bowling Green.
"They're a competitor in a sense, but whatever can help draw more people downtown... you know, this is not Scottsville Rd. The restaurant business out there is a whole lot more competitive. I just hope we don't lose anymore downtown restaurants over this. I'd hate to see some other people who have done the same thing, and gone out and personally invested in their own businesses and trying to make a livelihood out of it," said Mellow Mushroom Owner Bob Holderfield.
At Verdi, it's all the more inspiration to continue bettering their business through recent renovations.
"Whenever you say new 300 new jobs, I mean, what can we ask for? I think as the city of Bowling Green and downtown, it's a great thing. It's a new concept. We're doing the same thing here. To stay in business, you've got to go with the flow," said Verdi Owner Mirza Osmanovic.
That feeling of excitement was echoed by Verdi's neighbors on the square, 440 main, who said this regarding the addition of the Hitcents Park Plaza restaurants, "It has always been our vision that downtown Bowling Green become a central hub for restaurants, bars and retail business. Hitcents Park Plaza is a welcomed infusion of energy that will promote the downtown area, and encourage consumers to patronize our establishments. It's a win-win situation for everyone," said 440 Main's Michaela Holmes.
All three restaurant owners say they hope the plaza's restaurants succeed, and above all, bring even more attention to the area they call home. Regardless of their views on the new restaurants, downtown will soon see them become a reality, as Mills says the first restaurant is expected to open some time next month.