About 12 years ago, the original Hershey Gingerbread Man restaurant was opened by Richard Phelan. In 2006, Phelan retired and sold this restaurant to Shane Mrakovich, and it became Shane’s City Limits. You probably know Shane’s City Limits as the nightclub turned “gentleman’s club” that was headlined in 2011 for having dancers.
“We had this really built up to a really good restaurant. It was doing really well. Shane started turning it into more of a nightclub and there became an emphasis on the entertainment and not on the food and not on the cleanliness of the restaurant. The place was let go. A lot of stuff was not maintained and kept up and needless to say, customers who were coming here for the food stopped coming,” Phelan said.
According to Phelan, Mrakovich stopped paying him and the landlord. It took Phelan months to get Mrakovich out of the restaurant.
Since then, Phelan has remodeled the entire restaurant so it now looks like a Gingerbread Man again.
“There is completely new paint, ceilings, carpet, a lot of new floors, new upholstery, tables and chairs. There are all new televisions. We did a little bit of an art deco nautical theme now,” Phelan said.
Phelan is looking for the Gingerbread Man to be a “casual family dining restaurant” with enormous menus for both children and the rest of the family. The menu will include made-to-order sandwiches of grinders and hoagies, pastas, including Phelan’s signature dish “Edwardo Pepperone,” and the 7-7-7 Jack Pot Lunch, which are 7 lunches, 7 days a week, for $7. The menu will also include other homemade options.
“Of course, we serve beer, liquor, alcohol. We serve about a hundred selections of imported beers and microbrews, which are very popular now days. We have our domestic beers. We have 15 items on draft at one time,” Phelan said.
Phelan is very excited to open the Gingerbread Man in Hershey again. He hopes to be open by the middle of April after people are hired and trained and after the Gingerbread Man has its liquor license.
“I am hoping this restaurant gets back to operating like it did back when we opened it 12 years ago. We did very well here. We were very successful, a good business ... I’m here to get this place running,” Phelan said.