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Applebee's coming to township neighborhood

September 08, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Waynesboro-area residents could be "Eatin' Good in the Neighborhood" next year after the Washington Township Board of Supervisors approved a liquor license transfer for a proposed Applebee's restaurant in the Rouzerville Commons shopping center.

Without any comment from members of the public and little discussion from the supervisors, the board voted to approve the transfer of the license from Greencastle, Pa., to the township, although Supervisor Stewart McCleaf abstained.

"Only a small portion of the overall sales is alcohol ... slightly less than 10 percent," Township Manager Michael Christopher said, citing the application for the transfer.

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Christopher gave the address of the restaurant as 12825 Washington Township Boulevard and said it will be built in front of the Wal-Mart and Lowe's Home Improvement Center that will be the anchor retailers at Rouzerville Commons.

In answer to a question posed by the board, Pittsburgh attorney Mark Kozar said the restaurant license sought by Applebee's would allow for sales of carry-out beer, but "Applebee's does not."

Louis Cambeletta, the area director for Applebee's, said the restaurant could open by the end of 2006. Construction usually takes approximately 90 days once all permits have been approved. The restaurants cost about $2 million to build, he said.

Cambeletta said his area includes eight Applebee's restaurants, including the one in Chambersburg, Pa.

Kozar would not divulge how much Applebee's paid for the license and said he was not sure who owned the license in Greencastle, saying his firm worked with a liquor license broker that connects sellers with buyers.

The address for the license is 152 S. Antrim Way, which is the address of Pizza Hut in Greencastle.

Until three years ago, the transfer of a liquor license in Pennsylvania had to be within a municipality, Kozar said. The state law was later changed to allow transfers within a county, but required the receiving municipality to hold a public hearing and approve the transfer by resolution, he said.

The transfer also has to be approved by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, according to state law. Kozar said the law allows one liquor license for every 3,000 people.

Kozar told the board the license broker his firm uses tries to find license holders within a municipality to sell to their clients.

"There's a number of licenses that are in safe keeping around the state," Kozar said. "These people are kind of sitting on them waiting for I don't know what."

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