Centre County runs on Dunkin’? New location marks a half-dozen of the franchise’s stores locally

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For those mourning the temporary closure of the Sheetz on Shiloh Road, there’s a new option in the neighborhood — the long-awaited Dunkin’ on Benner Pike near Bellefonte, which opened Tuesday.

The new restaurant, located at 2825 Benner Pike between Bellefonte Lanes bowling alley and Graystone Court Villas apartment complex, boasts 2,279 square feet and a drive-thru.

At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday the parking lot was mostly full, with a steady line of customers coming through the door.

Construction at the Benner Pike location began in September, reported StateCollege.com, and was slated to finish in December or January.

Delays from weather and gas line construction pushed the Bellefonte location’s opening date to early March, said Eric May, the franchisee for Dunkin’s North and South Atherton and Bellefonte locations.

This is the sixth Dunkin’ located in Centre County. A location at 1430 N. Atherton St. opened in December 2017.

May said he is “very excited about Bellefonte ... the people have been outstanding so far.”

Along with his sister Heather Bower, May manages May Brands LLC, which owns 10 other Dunkin’ locations in Pennsylvania and has exclusive rights to develop the Dunkin’ franchise in Centre County, the company told the Centre Daily Times in 2017. At that time, the company said it was considering building two more locations in the area.

May said Wednesday that the company hasn’t yet identified other locations for the Dunkin’ brand in Centre County, but they are “always looking.”

Dunkin’ was long known as Dunkin’ Donuts before dropping “Donuts” from its branding in January.

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Sarah Paez covers Centre County communities, government and town and gown relations for the Centre Daily Times. She studied English and Spanish at Cornell University and grew up outside of Washington, D.C.