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Area diners saluting newest restaurant

| Wednesday, April 16, 2003

DUNBAR - Area diners are saluting Dunbar Township's newest restaurant, Four Star Pizza & Fresh-Baked Subs. The red, white and blue establishment, located in the former Silver Leaf Dining Room at the intersection of Route 119 and Pechin Road, offers a freshly baked pizza buffet and salad bar every day, in addition to sandwiches and free delivery throughout the Dunbar and Connellsville areas.

The restaurant opened March 31 and is experiencing enormous popularity.

Owners Kevin and Patty Slagle of Hopwood have created a family friendly atmosphere where everyone can have their favorite pizza. Upon ordering a buffet, the cashier asks if there is any special pizza the customer wants. The pizza is prepared in minutes and on the buffet "in about the time it takes for people to find a table and get their drinks," says manager Robert Colgan of Lemont Furnace.

The buffet costs $3.99 all day, every day.

"Lots of people have asked if it's just certain days, or certain times," says Patty Slagle. She and her husband have three boys and know about dining out. "It's $30 to $40 to take a family out to dinner and we wanted to create a restaurant where families could come without breaking their budget."

Despite the low prices, Four Star stresses quality, using only the freshest ingredients, with hand-tossed dough prepared continuously.

Donald Colgan of North Union Township is one of the 25 employees and specializes in food prep.

"It takes 25 pounds of flour to make one batch of dough," he says. "That makes 48 small pizzas, the size we put out on the buffet." On the busiest days, he and other workers have prepared more than eight batches of dough, for more than 400 pizzas.

Kids like pepperoni and plain cheese pizza, while adults' favorites are barbecue chicken and spicy buffalo chicken, both created by Patty Slagle. The barbecue chicken features barbecue sauce, chicken, bacon and cheese, while the buffalo chicken has hot sauce, chicken and cheese, which can be supplemented with hot peppers and hot sausage, which two of Slagle's Hopwood customers regularly request.

Slagle has also developed dessert pizzas with fruit, cinnamon rolls and cinnamon sugar sticks. A cake decorator for 20 years, her cakes are also available.

The Dunbar Four Star is the second pizza buffet the Slagles own. They opened the first in the former Hopwood Pizza Hut on Route 40 in November 2001. They had a carry-out and delivery Four Star in Uniontown from 1985 until opening the Hopwood restaurant.

The restaurants are truly a family business, Patty Slagle says. She and her husband had been looking for a new direction in pizza for several years when her sister, Jody Gaston, recommended the buffet. "She took me to a pizza buffet in Virginia and I decided, this is it, this is what I want to do."

Another sister, Judy Largent, painted large stars and signs in the restaurant. "Everybody helped," says Slagle.

Outside, the Slagles plan to re-pave the parking lot to accommodate the scores of customers who fill the restaurant each evening. "Business has been good, wonderful, really. We've had a real good response. We want to get involved with the community, get in contact with Penn State and other businesses and organizations. People in Dunbar are very receptive."

Four Star opens at 11 a.m. daily.

Waiting outside at 10:40 a.m., Tim Schuster of Uniontown says, "I love this place. I've been here almost every day since they opened. I work just down the road and the food is great and the prices are the best. We needed a place like this in Dunbar."

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