| Neighborhoods

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Harrison turns thumbs down on restaurant/6-pack shop

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By George Guido
Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, 12:16 a.m.

There won't be a take-out restaurant and six-pack beer shop adjacent to the Exxon gasoline station/convenience store in the Birdville section of Harrison.

The township commissioners on Monday night turned thumbs down on a request by NH Restaurant Corp. to open a small restaurant and take-out beer store inside a former car wash at 2602 Freeport Road.

NH Restaurant had hoped to transfer a license from a closed tavern in Etna to Harrison.

Under state Liquor Control Board regulations, the municipal government must act on a request for a license transfer across municipal lines within a county.

Attorney Marc Reisman of the Gelman & Reisman Law Offices said during Monday's public hearing that the property owners wanted to have a limited menu like hamburgers and pizza in a 30-seat establishment in the former 800-square-foot car wash.

Reiseman said to refit and modernize the car wash would be cost-prohibitive.

He said the gasoline station/convenience store owners are reacting to other companies that sell beer in such settings, such as Giant Eagle's GetGos.

“You have Wal-Mart, Sheetz and others wanting to get into gas and beer establishments,” Reisman said.

Adjacent business owner David Pakulski objected to the plan. He said traffic would increase and there wasn't enough room on the property, citing gasoline delivery trucks that impact his parking area.

Robert Singer, longtime owner of the Do-Drop Inn across from the Exxon, inquired about an LCB 200-foot proximity law between liquor licensees.

Singer told the commissioners that they should consider family-owned businesses that “have been around for more than 50 years.”

Reisman said Mike Thacker owns Exxon, despite it being a national name brand.

Neighbor Ron Baxter said he didn't see “a reason for more alcohol in the immediate area.”

Others doubted 800 square feet would be enough to house a restaurant eating area, cooking area and six-pack storage area. They also questioned whether there's sufficient room for parking.

Commissioners President George Conroy said he was concerned the nearest residence was 29 feet from the wall at the rear of the Exxon lot.

No one other than the applicants spoke in favor of the proposal.

Commissioners voted 4-0 to reject the request because of the concerns voiced by residents.

Commissioner Robin Bergstrom abstained because her family owns a beer distributorship near the proposed location.

Township Solicitor Charles Means said NH Restaurant Corp. has no appeal of the ruling.

Resiman said after the meeting that he had no further comment.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read AlleKiski Valley

  1. Judge lets New Kensington Ten Commandments monument stand
  2. Woman ‘critical’ from fall on Harmar riverbank
  3. Freeport to address sewage bill deadbeats
  4. Burrell considers renovating former weight room
  5. Harrison residents want answers to flooding concerns
  6. Zelienople development to be inclusive of those with autism
  7. Parks Township breeder hosts 3rd annual Lab Fest
  8. Gilpin approved request for gas compressor station near Route 66
  9. Latrobe motorcyclist killed in head-on crash in Washington Township
  10. Cyclists breeze through Valley on mission for refugees in Southeast Asia
  11. Dog attacks Arnold pair