Homer City officials pave way for distillery
Homer City officials signed off on a zoning change Tuesday that would allow a proposed whiskey and vodka distillery to open on Main Street.
The planning commission voted 4-0 to recommend to borough council that “microdistillery” be added to the list of businesses that can open in the borough's commercial zone. Commission member Robert Toth was absent.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania geography professor Bob Sechrist and his retired colleague Bob Begg, have proposed opening their distillery, Disobedient Spirits, in the blue brick building at 30 S. Main St. that once housed Runzo grocery store.
More than 60 people packed the Homer City fire hall and spilled out the doorway for the hour-long meeting where about 20 people voiced their concerns about or support for the distillery.
“The location and the name are in very poor taste,” said the Rev. Joe Stains, pastor of Homer City United Methodist Church, next door to the proposed distillery.
The church hosts Celebrate Recovery meetings weekly, which aim to help people overcome substance abuse, addictions and other challenges.
“As a resident of Homer City, we're just not comfortable with (the distillery) being on Main Street,” said Bob Piccirillo. “Most of us wouldn't be here if this was going in an appropriate spot.”
Resident Ben Day said the borough used to have a state store, hardware stores and many other businesses.
“I would love to see a new business on Main Street. I like the tourism aspect,” said Day.
Begg and Sechrist have said they plan to offer tours and samples and sell their products on site.
“I don't see why it would be a bad thing to have business,” said Andrew Pozik, whose father own's Pozik's Auto Shop. “I'm in favor of people who are entrepreneurs. You are bringing a business into town and businesses build on each other.”
If borough council approves the recommended zoning change, Begg said they hope to close on the building soon after and start renovations so they can begin experimenting with recipes later this summer.
Kari Andren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2856 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Kari Andren to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hempfield man serving life without parole for killing wife tells judge he’ll pay restitution when he’s released
- Extremes in weather hurt crops in Westmoreland
- Sutersville ready to sell former church
- Death row inmate Smyrnes claims isolation cruel and unusual punishment in Westmoreland County case
- Man charged with hitting girlfriend with car in East Huntingdon reaches plea agreement
- Police: Scottdale man had child porn on computer
- Sewickley Twp. man who received food stamps didn’t disclose gas royalties
- Scottdale chamber’s Community Yard Sale to be held Saturday
- More than 100 stamp bags confiscated in Greensburg; 4 arrested
- Hempfield cyclist to cool wheels in jail during appeal
- Youngwood playground found to be in violation of disability act again