New seafood restaurant celebrates Grand Opening at Eastwood

New seafood restaurant near Eastwood Mall to celebrate grand opening September 13

King Cajun Seafood & Bar will celebrate its grand opening next week with a ribbon cutting ceremony taking place on Tuesday, September 13 at 11:00 a.m.

September 7, 2022

By Zach Mosca

Seafood lovers will soon have a new restaurant to try near the Eastwood Mall in Niles.

King Cajun Seafood & Bar will celebrate its grand opening next week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, September 13, at 11:00 a.m.

Folks will get the chance to meet restaurant owner Steven Yang and former Cafaro Company President Anthony Cafaro, Sr., who was closely involved in designing the restaurant’s concept.

In addition, Niles mayor Steven Mientkiewicz, Niles City Council members, Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber President and CEO Guy Coviello, and other dignitaries will also be in attendance.

King Cajun will be located on the east side of the Eastwood Mall Complex next to Steak & Shake. The building, which used to house the HomeTown Buffet, has been completely renovated to create new dining rooms and a full bar.

The restaurant will primarily offer dishes inspired by Louisiana and Low Country cuisine.

Massive Electric Vehicle Plant Lands New Product


Monarch tractor leaves cocoon

Foxconn, ag firm to build vehicle in Lordstown


AUG 19, 2022



Staff photo / Allie Vugrincic Local elected officials, business leaders and Foxconn Lordstown employees were invited to check out the Monarch Tractor during its local debut Thursday morning at Foxconn Lordstown.


Monarch Tractors - FoxConn's newest customer in Lordstown, Ohio

It’s the vision that’s fueling the execution of the partnership between Monarch Tractor and Foxconn to mass produce the Livermore, Calif.-based company’s MK-V Series tractor, a battery-powered autonomous piece of farm equipment that has the potential to revolutionize the farming industry, Monarch’s top executive said.

And it was part of his message Thursday when the companies publicly debuted the smart tractor at Foxconn’s plant in Lordstown. Earlier this month, it was announced Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics giant, will be the contract manufacturer for the tractor.

“(It’s) a combination of innovation and technology and a combination of quality and precision manufacturing, something that is going to end up on every farm around the world,” Praveen Penmesta, co-founder and CEO of Monarch Tractor, said.


It boiled down to automotive pedigree on the Foxconn team, electrification and Foxconn’s experience in electronics, said Mark Schwager, Monarch Tractor’s co-founder and president.

“So combining automotive, electrification and electronics was a really big thing for us,” Schwager said. “We really only found that here — a tremendously talented team across the board.”

Full-rate production of the MK-V Series tractor is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2023 at the approximately 6.2 million-square-foot plant, the former General Motors assembly plant that Foxconn acquired in May from Lordstown Motors Corp.

It will follow production of Monarch’s Founder Series in the fourth quarter of 2022 at Monarch Tractor’s Livermore, Calif., manufacturing facility.

Penmesta said production volumes would be released in the first quarter of 2023, but the number is expected to reach the tens of thousands.

“We are excited about demand. This is a big market in the U.S.,” said Penmesta, who earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Cincinnati. “If you look at how many tractors are sold, especially in this class of tractors, we are talking about 150,000-plus units are sold.

“Suffice to say, the reason we are building a small tractor is because we are targeting high volumes,” he said. “This is not a big combine or a big tractor that sells in the hundreds or thousands. We are targeting tens of thousands going forward.”

The price point is in the $60,000 to $70,000 range before subsidies. The tractor, Penmesta said, qualifies for a tax credit in the new climate, tax and health care law President Joe Biden signed Tuesday.

It has battery capacity to provide eight to 10 hours of operation for most medium-duty applications, said Schwager, and can charge in about five hours.

“If you can run for eight to 10 (hours) and charge in five (hours), you can really work around the clock for those harvest times, those challenging times when a farmer really has to floor it and get the job done,” Schwager said.

The battery is not part of the vehicle but can be removed and swapped for a fresh battery. That process, Schwager said, can be done by one person in about seven minutes.


Foxconn also has contract manufacturing agreements with Lordstown Motors to produce its flagship electric vehicle, the Endurance truck, and with Southern California’s Fisker Inc. for its PEAR, or Personal Electric Automotive Revolution.

Production of the PEAR, which earlier this month Fisker reported had more than 4,000 reservations, is scheduled to launch in 2024. The plan is to build at least 250,000 PEAR vehicles per year once the plant ramps to production.

Lordstown Motors announced, also earlier this month, it is limiting its first batch of Endurances to 500 with much of that production occurring in the first quarter of 2023.

For Monarch, said Rick Rajaie, vice president of operations for Foxconn North America, “I can tell you we are well on plan and on target to fulfill the capacity target that … Monarch has beyond 2024.”

He could not say exactly how many square feet of the massive plant are in use now, but Monarch has its own dedicated space broken into two production spaces — one for the main tractor and one for the roof, the autonomous system that contains sensitive intellectual property.

He confirmed Foxconn is in talks with other original equipment manufacturers, but stopped short of saying how far along the company is in securing new products.

“We are blessed. Ever since we came to the community, we have been approached by a lot of partners in the industry,” Rajaie said. “I cannot share any confidential details with you, but I can assure you that we are in discussions with a variety of partners …”


HomeGoods to expand presence in Trumbull


JUN 22, 2022



NILES — Discount home fashion and decor retailer HomeGoods is expanding its presence in Trumbull County with a new store adjacent to the Eastwood Mall, part of a flurry of construction and other openings at the retail complex.

Construction already has begun on the 22,112-square-foot HomeGoods store on Mines Road near Levin Furniture and Kohl’s — part of the Howland Commons area of the complex that also includes TJ Maxx, a discount clothing store operated by Massachusetts-based TJX Companies Inc., the same parent company as HomeGoods.

HomeGoods is targeting the summer of 2023 to open.

“Discussions have been taking place for over a year, and actually we have been preparing that land for future development long before that,” said Joe Bell, spokesman for the Cafaro Company, which owns and operates the Eastwood Mall Complex.

The store is on a 3.5-acre parcel that is large enough to accommodate another store of about the same size.

“If you break that down, HomeGoods is going to occupy a little over 22,000 square feet, but it still has permissible building area of about 24,000 square feet, so we could build another store right next to it,” Bell said.

The next nearest HomeGoods store is in Boardman.

Last year, TJX Companies Inc. opened a multimillion-dollar, 1.2 million-square-foot regional distribution center for the HomeGoods brand in Lordstown. The facility employs about 1,000 people.

Also, construction is expected to begin soon for a new Longhorn Steakhouse on about 1 acre at the corner of state Route 46 and Eastwood Boulevard, the site of the closed IHOP pancake house.

The plan, according to Bell, is to demolish IHOP and for Longhorn Steakhouse to build new and be ready to open in February.

“Additionally, discussions are underway with two other restaurant operators anxious to establish a presence on the Eastwood Mall Complex,” states a news release Tuesday from Cafaro Company.

Other new openings planned include children’s apparel store Carter’s by Thanksgiving at Howland Commons by TJ Maxx; and King Cajun Seafood & Bar near Outback Steakhouse and Steak ‘n Shake. That 9,637-square-foot building previously contained HomeTown Buffett, which abruptly closed about five years ago. The space was renovated fully, including new dining rooms and bar. Dishes inspired by the cuisine of New Orleans and the Low Country will be prominent on the menu.

In July, Venetia Nail Lounge & Spa will open at the Great East Plaza in a 4,000-square-foot space next to Buffalo Wild Wings and shortly after, NrGize Lifestyle Cafe will open in the J.C. Penney concourse of the mall. The 975-square-foot space is a combined coffee and smoothie shop.

Already open is Aimpoint Airsoft, a practice range that uses Airsoft-brand guns that shoot soft pellets at targets, near the Boscov’s department store.