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Couple seeks special liquor license for downtown bistro

September 25, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A borough couple has requested a public hearing next month to get an Economic Development Liquor License for a downtown restaurant and pub.

Bistro 71, in a renovated building at 71 N. Main St. owned by Lawrence and Barbara Lahr, could open next spring if the permit is approved, Lawrence Lahr said after the council scheduled a required public hearing for Monday, Oct. 22.

"We really believe in the vitality of the downtown," Lahr said of the project.

An Economic Development Liquor License comes with a number of restrictions, borough solicitor Thomas Finucane said. It cannot be transferred from one location to another; the percentage of liquor sales is limited; and there is no appeal if the council votes not to give its approval.

"This license is seriously restricted, but that's OK with us," Lawrence Lahr said. Liquor sales, he said, would be limited to 30 percent of sales and state law allows just one economic development liquor license per year for each county, he said.

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Barbara Lahr said the restaurant and pub would have a small bar area and seat about 50 people. Occupying the first floor of the three-story building, it would also have an outside patio area in the rear of the building, she said.

Larry Lahr told the council his hope is that the business would create more pedestrian traffic, including a professional clientele for lunch and dinner, and stimulate other businesses to move into the downtown.

If the council approves the request, the license would still have to be granted by the state.

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