Irwin officials gave the green light to transfer a liquor license from West Newton to a proposed restaurant on Main Street that will feature tacos and tequila.
Council on Wednesday unanimously approved the request of Greg Olszewski, a Penn Township businessman, and Matthew Mitchell of North Huntingdon, to transfer a liquor license to a future restaurant at 207 Main St.
Olszewski and Mitchell are seeking to buy license from Michael DeMarchi of West Newton. It has been in “safekeeping” since the 2017 fire that destroyed DeMarchi’s Tavern in downtown West Newton in 2017. The partners still must get approval from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
David Caruso, who will run the food portion of the business, said they hope to open the restaurant in September. Caruso, who owns Burgher Burgher and dO wood fired, is partnering with Mike Powers of Greensburg and Olszewski and Mitchell in the business.
The restaurant will occupy the first floor of the building that previously housed Major Toms restaurant. Jim Edgerton of North Huntingdon is in the process of remodeling the first floor for the restaurant, which will be called Gato — Spanish for cat. The building sits across the street from The Lamp Theatre.
Council held a brief public hearing on the request to transfer the liquor license into Irwin. The LCB requires that the transfer of the liquor license be approved by the governing body because Irwin has exceeded its normal allotment of liquor licenses. The Pennsylvania Liquor Code sets the retail liquor license quota at one license per 3,000 people, according to Shawn Kelly, a spokesman for the LCB.
“Two great businesses in town. Who could complain about that?” said Councilwoman Gail Macioce, referring to the two restaurants Caruso has opened in Irwin in the past three years.