Chambersburg residents support couple's plan for downtown bistro

October 23, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - About a dozen Chambersburg residents and businesspeople asked the borough council Monday to support a local couple's efforts to obtain a liquor license.

Larry and Barbara Lahr, of 39 N. Third St., are seeking a special economic development liquor license from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for a property they own at 71 N. Main St.

The borough council voted unanimously Monday to allow the Lahrs to proceed with their request. The special license would come with conditions, like 70 percent of the business's sales must be for food, officials said.

"What does strike me about this, which makes this a positive project ... is I think the emphasis of the project, which is more of a bistro, eclectic, So-Ho establishment," Councilwoman Elaine M. Swartz said.


The bistro would not be open after 11 p.m. and would only have capacity for 50, Larry Lahr said.

His attorney, Jan Sulcove, said the bistro would provide "an opportunity to have lunch or dinner and to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer with your lunch."

Area business owners touted the Lahrs' plans as a possible boon to downtown commerce.

Mark Miller, owner of Gypsie at 21 N. Main St., said the Lahrs should ceremonially be given the key to town for their revitalization of several buildings.

"I wholeheartedly endorse their plans," he said.

"This is the best thing to happen downtown ever," said Robert Sollenberger, who lives at 133 N. Main St.

Sollenberger said he considered leaving downtown, but changed his mind because of the Lahrs.

"I thought, 'This is the golden rainbow,'" Sollenberger said.

Penny Shaul, the owner of Here's Looking At You at 123 S. Main St., said she hopes people eat at the Lahrs' bistro, visit nearby businesses and go to a performance at the Capitol Theatre.

"The energy, vitality and new ideas they bring to the downtown is nothing but positive," Shaul said.

One person - Earl Aiello of 203 W. King St. - spoke during the portion of the public hearing that asked for comments against the plans. He asked whether the Luhrs had exhausted all options to transfer an existing liquor license.

That will be a part of the liquor control board's investigation, Sulcove said.

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