by Lisa Tome
It didn't take long for word to spread that the TV show Restaurant Impossible was headed to Elkton.
And although Lyon's Pharmacy owner Marybeth Sniadowski-Cole signed a contract stating that she wouldn't reveal that the show was coming to Elkton to make over her business, that didn't keep others from talking about it.
"When the producers came to Elkton, Marybeth brought them to meet us," said Mary Jo Jablonski, Executive Director of the Elkton Chamber and Alliance. That's when Jablonski offered the use of the Elkton Visitor's Center, at the corner of North and Main streets, for use by the show. "Their equipment will be in the Visitor's Center. That is the staging area," said Jablonski. The show staff will also take over the conference room in that building from Monday night until Thursday of this week.
On Tuesday, February 10, Jablonski began meeting with merchants in the downtown to tell them that Elkton was about to be the focus of a national TV show. "I told them what was happening and to make sure their windows are lit at night. We want to make sure the town looks good. We are advertising and promoting downtown Elkton on national TV. This is about Lyon's Pharmacy but we want to put the best face on Elkton as possible," she said.
Jablonski was uncertain when the show's star, Robert Irvine, would be arriving. She was notified that tractor trailers loaded with equipment would be coming to Elkton on Monday. A call for volunteers to help with the remodel went out a week prior.
"This is just a renovation but there is a lot of excitement. I went on the Restaurant Impossible website to see the comments about Elkton. We want to use this as an opportunity to promote our downtown," she said.
Jablonski and her staff made certain that the outdoor kiosk was stocked with brochures promoting local businesses and attractions. She also geared up to provide people with information about local restaurants and lodging if needed. She was also promoting the fact that Lyon's Pharmacy is the downtown business which has been in operation the longest at 135 years.
Parking along Elkton's North Street will be limited this week due to increased activity. A small parking lot between the rear of the chamber/alliance building and the Circuit Courthouse will also be closed to traffic.
Kimberly Anders, who works for the Cecil County Boys and Girls Club, which shares office space with the chamber/alliance, said she is excited to welcome Restaurant Impossible. "I watch the show. I went and rewatched all the old ones," said Anders.
For two weeks, Sniadowski-Cole has been notifying Lyon's Pharmacy customers about the remodeling on February 17-18. The store, on Elkton's Main Street, will reopen on Feb. 19. Sniadowski-Cole said that proper notifications have been made to customers and doctor's offices. "Nobody will be without. Patient care will not be interrupted," she said. Notices outlining the two-day closure were distributed to customers.