YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It was one year ago on April 1 that — after five years of being closed — Youngstown’s Golden Dawn restaurant held its grand reopening. People packed the place to reacquaint themselves with the pizza, Jumbo Chop Steak Sandwich and schooners of beer. We returned one year later to see how it is going.

Golden Dawn owner Johnny Naples was busy behind the bar Friday evening, just like he has been since the reopening a year ago. Naples says business is better now than before the closing.

“It was a surprise to me at first but every day it gets better, better and better,” he said.

Sitting front and center at the bar were Golden Dawn regulars Kevin McGuire and David Simon. On reopening day, it was McGuire who was honored with the first schooner of beer, and vowed to help keep the place open.

McGuire: “I told you when you walked away, I’ll do my part.”
Reporter Stan Boney: “Have you done your part?”
McGuire: “Absolutely. I’m still here.”

Simon: “Johnny knows. He was here when his dad and his uncle were here.”
Boney: “Everything is pretty much the same, isn’t it?”
Simon: “Yeah, it’s nice.”

Naples’ grandparents opened the Golden Dawn in 1932 before his father and uncle took over. It’s a place where a lot stays the same — people love the nostalgia. But Naples has noticed one thing different since reopening.

Naples: “We got a lot of new faces. I’m happy to see that too, and they’re still coming back. The new faces are coming back.”
Boney: “New faces, where’d they come from?”
Naples: “That’s a good question. We have a lot of patrons now from Pennsylvania.”

One of the new faces has been 27-year-old Joe Verbosky, who was never at the Golden Dawn until it reopened.

“I actively try to get a lot of my friends out here too. It’s just a nice little gathering place for everybody to come together and have a drink,” Verbosky said.

“Every day they tell me, thanks for reopening. We’re glad to be back. And I say, thanks for coming back. Glad to have you,” Naples said.

Naples says there are no plans for anything new in the near future. He says they’ve talked about expanding the dining room or adding a banquet room, but nothing like that will happen soon.