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Bits of Business: Mexican chain coming to downtown State College

For a muy bueno deal, it’s tough to beat free burritos.

A date hasn’t been set, but when California Tortilla opens on College Avenue they will serve a free burrito to new customers 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

But there’s more to the Maryland-based Mexican chain restaurant than freebies, which will be given away for a year to the first 20 people in line for its undetermined grand opening.

Franchise owners Ashok, Jay and Nirav Pitel are hiring for the 322 West College Ave. restaurant.

Company spokeswoman Laura Cissel said each restaurant usually employs 20 to 30 people, though the Pitels may hire more to provide flexibility to college students.

The restaurant will open once the staff is hired and construction is complete. It will seat 50 people.

“The date is undecided, and we’re working toward getting everything completed with construction and permits,” Cissel said. “We want to be open by the end of the year. We want to open when there are students there.”

The restaurant chain has more than 40 locations in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.

Mother, daughter team up

Debbie Gosa could have brought on anyone to work in her salon for the last 22 years, but having just her clients in Debbie’s Sharper Image felt right.

“I kind of just liked the atmosphere of my customers and I, so I guess there’s only one person I’d have come in to work with me,” Gosa said.

That would be Gosa’s daughter, Samantha Gosa, and she’ll start working in the salon on 803 South Eagle Valley Road Nov. 17.

Samantha Gosa grew up watching her mom cut hair.

“She is so busy,” Samantha Gosa said. “She’s never has a day where she didn’t have someone there.”

Samantha Gosa wanted to build up clientele, so she worked at Holiday Hair in Nittany Mall for about five years.

“It was a good experience, and for people starting out it’s a great place to start,” Samantha Gosa said. “It’s where my mom started.”

Now that they’re together, they think they’ll stay put.

“We’re so much alike,” Samantha Gosa said. “I think we’ll work really good together.”

Hospital makes appointment

A grand reopening for Caring Health Network in Philipsburg is on the horizon.

The clinic will host its grand reopening at 3 p.m. Nov. 19.

“We’ve been pretty much laying low for the past couple years,” CHN chief operating officer Jeff Scalice said. “With rural health care clinics you have to submit two years of cost reports for Medicaid and Medicare, and then you can expand and really open up your business.”

The clinic recently began to operate 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday after previously operating just one day a week.

Plans are also in place for the clinic to add behavioral health services and pain management.

The hope is for the clinic eventually to be open five days a week.

“We want to become the hometown doctors office up there that people rely on,” Scalice said.

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