Kelly O's

Nearly 10 years ago, Kelly O’Conner went after her dream and purchased a small diner in the North Hills of Pittsburgh. After years of hard work to grow her business, Kelly felt she was ready to explore the possibility of a second location of her highly successful and nationally recognized Kelly O’s Diner.

Kelly came to the University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to assist with her growth plans because she quickly realized she needed some professional support to evaluate the financial feasibility of various potential new locations. For nearly two years, she worked side by side with The University of Pittsburgh SBDC to evaluate and explore growth options. Having never gone through the leasing and renovating new space, she knew there were things she did not understand.

Kelly and the University of Pittsburgh SBDC evaluated five potential locations in various parts of the city of Pittsburgh. Each of these evaluations included a break even analysis, market demographic analysis and real estate cost comparison. Through this work, Kelly and The University of Pittsburgh SBDC identified a location in the Strip District that met all the criteria to move forward.

The next step was securing the necessary funding to renovate the facility and open the business. The University of Pittsburgh SBDC developed the financial projections required by the banks in an effort to secure a loan. With their guidance, Kelly successfully secured a $125,000 bank loan, and a matching $125,000 in build out contribution from the property owner. After a two month build-out of their new space, Kelly O's– Strip District has a targeted grand opening date of June 29, 2012. The new location will add four full time and up to six part time jobs to our local economy.

Kelly intends to continue to use the University of Pittsburgh SBDC as a resource, meeting and communicating on a regular basis to ensure they are on a path to success during the critical early stages of this new location.