Franciscan Square expands dining options

By Mia Brounstein

According to a news brief from Franciscan University, a Jimmy John’s opened in Franciscan Square in the beginning of April, serving as the latest addition to the growing pool of restaurants at the bottom of the hill. 
This particular Jimmy John’s is owned by a company run by Dan VanSteenburg, who graduated from Franciscan in 1992. According to the university news release, this addition to Franciscan Square is seen as a sign of Steubenville’s growing economy. 
“Landing a national chain like Jimmy John’s is a big win for the University and the local community,” said Phil Rook, director of real estate development at the university. “It’s a great sign that we are starting to see new businesses interested in expanding into our market.” 
Rook added that business owners, especially Franciscan alumni, are encouraged to contribute to the expansion of the square as the university seeks to “revitalize the Ohio Valley, provide residents and students more amenities and create job opportunities.” 
Students and locals alike are being recruited to work at the new Jimmy John’s, and it is already attracting patrons in its first days of being open. 
Junior social work major Emma McDonald said of the development, “As a student, I love that the square is expanding because it gives us more food options and also more places to hang out and enjoy the community we live in.” 
According to the press release, “The goal for Franciscan Square is a mixed-use development that provides hospitality, recreation and refreshment for local community members, guests and university students alike. As of spring 2024, seven acres remain for future development.” 
The release notes that future development could come in the form of office space, retail stores and housing.