A taco and tequila restaurant is planned for downtown Irwin this fall, run by a man who already owns two other restaurants in Irwin.
Businessman David Caruso, who owns Burgher Burgher on Fourth Street and dO wood fired, featuring pizza, on Fifth Street, plans to open Gato in September in a Main Street building that previously held Major Toms restaurant.
Caruso, a former general manager at Primanti Brothers, said he decided to open another restaurant in Irwin because of the amount of activity in town. The site at 207 Main St., is across the street from the renovated Lamp Theatre and the Cafe Supreme restaurant, as well as a few storefronts away from a new microbrewery, New Crescent Brewing Co.
Caruso said he envisions a restaurant with seating for about 75 to 100 customers, with a bar and a stage for entertainment.
“We’re revitalizing Irwin. Irwin just keeps growing,” Caruso said.
Gregory Olszewski, 48, a Penn Township businessman, has joined with Matthew Mitchell, 51, of North Huntingdon in seeking to acquire a liquor license so they can serve tequila and other alcohol at the restaurant, which Caruso will operate. Mitchell could not be reached for comment.
Irwin Borough Council has scheduled a public hearing for 6 p.m. Wednesday on the request from Mitchell and Olszewski to transfer the liquor license into Irwin.
None of the council members voiced any objection to the liquor license transfer, during a discussion at a June 4 workshop meeting.
Olszewski, who operates Metals Menders LLC, a paintless dent repair shop, and Mitchell, want to buy Michael DeMarchi’s liquor license. The license was used at his family’s DeMarchi’s Tavern in West Newton, which was destroyed in a fire in April 2017.
Mitchell and Olszewski can apply to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to transfer the liquor license to Irwin and receive approval, pending the decision by council, said Greensburg attorney Gregory Nichols, who is representing the business partners.
The LCB could approve the license based on building plans submitted by Mitchell and Olszewski, who would have at least six months to complete the work. Based on circumstances, Nichols said they may be able to get an extension of that six-month deadline.
James Edgerton of North Huntingdon, who owns the building at 207 Main St., said he is in the process of acquiring the permits from Irwin to begin remodeling the first floor, which has close to 3,000 square feet. Edgerton said he is close to finishing the renovations to two upstairs apartments.
Edgerton, a developer and science teacher at Valley High School in New Kensington, bought the property in July 2017 from the Westmoreland County Land Bank for $50,000. Irwin Borough had condemned the building, and the county land bank paid $417 for it in 2015 from the county Tax Claim Bureau.