Pa. borough weighs idea of restaurant in the park

July 27, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Taking cues from cities like Philadelphia and New York City, Borough of Chambersburg officials are exploring whether a restaurant would be appropriate for Chambersburg Memorial Park.

The Chambersburg Borough Council this week approved preparing bid documents for potential restaurateurs. Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill said those bid documents will be posted soon at

The borough would likely lease land on which the restaurateur would build a structure to his or her specifications, Stonehill said.

"They'd sort of pitch the idea to us," he said.

Borough officials came up with the idea when trying to find alternative sources of revenue for the recreation department. Stonehill said the council would review each application on its merits.

The park already has a concession stand that serves both park- and pool-goers. Borough officials hope the bids allow them to gauge interest in supplementing or replacing that stand with a full-service restaurant.

Stonehill said city officials in Philadelphia and New York City provided guidance.

"Even though they are larger towns, they were quite helpful to us," he said.

Council members said they'd consider businesses with liquor licenses, although no alcohol would be allowed in the pool area, according to Stonehill. Alcohol would be restricted to within the restaurant.

About 145,000 visits are made to the park each year, with an additional 41,000 to the pool, Stonehill said.

"We're talking about a very well-used park, so that makes it attractive for someone with a restaurant," he said.

No deadline has been set for bids because the borough wants to advertise in trade magazines.

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