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Off the RAK

Off the RAK 1
Location
3047 New Germany Road
Ebensburg, PA
County
Cambria
Description
Business Improvement
Total Project Cost
$550,000

Outstanding. Very easy, very reasonable. They just made my life a lot easier, relieving me of that part of the stress.

- Bob Kolar, owner, Off the RAK Restaurant

People

Bob Kolar spent 15 years building Off the RAK into one of the region’s most versatile restaurants, featuring a elegant dining room, a tropical deck, and a sports bar. The variety of experiences helped it draw from Johnstown, Altoona and beyond. Then, two days before Halloween, a fire destroyed the interior. “I was devastated. I didn’t sleep for nights,” says Bob. He sat in the smoke-ruined dining room, near despair. “There was never a doubt in my mind,” he adds, “that I would rebuild.”

Progress

Bob decided that Off the RAK should rise strengthened from the ashes. Knowing that insurance would only replace his losses, he sought financing at a bank, which referred him to The Progress Fund. There, he got a $500,000 loan.

Impact

The loan allowed Bob to refinance debt, survive while the insurance claim was pending, and take Off the RAK off the charts. Less than six months after the fire, Bob debuted his cement bar top with a stone front and a chill rail to keep beers cold. Cooler still were improved air conditioning and more draft beers. Fresh trim work, tables, recessed lighting and ceramic tiles completed the update. Business grew 40 percent. The improvements “create the buzz,” says Bob. “So many people told me they didn’t know what they were missing until we were gone.”

Several years later, The Progress Fund helped Bob continue the buzz he created with an additional $50,000 for new equipment, more building improvements and new menus.

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