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New concept in motorist service opens in Italy

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Unique combination is brainchild of Ali Sharaf
David D. Waller
The Ellis County Press

Okay! Combine the convenience of a roadside rest area, the fast food service of a McDonald's, the gas service of an Exxon. Add a roadside hotel and what do you have? If you don't know the answer, then you haven't been to the Italy Inn. This new McDonald's/Grandy's/Stuckey's/Exxon Tiger Mart combo pack is a new concept in motorist convenience stops that has been opened for about a month.

Adeeb 'Eddie' Sand-ugah said Italy Inn was the brainchild of H&H Oil President Ali Sharaf, who first began construction in fall of 2001.

'It's been Ali's project from the first,' said Sandugah. 'This area was in need of having something (like Italy Inn).' According to Sandugah,

when construction began, the site was slated for an Exxon gas and convenience store only, but the project's concept grew before the building was complete.

Ali came up with the idea of putting hotel rooms on top of the building to give motorists and truckers a place to sleep over.

Later Sharaf was able to add the McDonald's, Gran-dy's and Stuckey's to make his new project a unique combination.

'It's been great so far,' Sandugah said. 'I think the project will keep growing.'

Customers said they were impressed with the services provided at the Italy Inn.

'It's kind of a long stretch of road between Waxahachie and Hills-boro,' said one motorist from Hill County, who asked to be identified only as Andy. 'I think it (Italy Inn) has a good location.'

The parking lot was designed with the concept of convenient access and exit, according to Sandugah.

'Customers like a location that doesn't have a lot of traffic where it's hard to get in and out,' Sandugah said.

'They also like a place to stop and get something to eat or use the bathroom. We've made it very convenient for everybody.'

Sandugah said their restrooms were so busy in the beginning, they are now adding two more. 'The bathrooms were so full all the time, we had a hard time getting into them to maintain them.'

The 23 rooms, upstairs, were expected to open up to the public Nov. 16.

Room sizes will include king (one king-size bed), Queen (a queen size bed), and suites (two queen size beds, couch and additional luxuries).

For truckers, Italy Inn will also provide five shower rooms, a free shower with the purchase of diesel fuel and a CAT scale.

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