Tav­ern, job in­cu­ba­tor also tak­ing shape

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - FRONT PAGE - BY JIM DINO STAFF WRITER

Three projects in the makeover of West Broad Street in down­town Ha­zle­ton should be com­pleted this year.

They in­clude the new city arts cen­ter, Broad & Bar­rel tav­ern and the Penn State LaunchBox. A fourth project, the ren­o­va­tion of Dragon Chi­nese Restau­rant, is com­plete.

Broad & Bar­rel, an Ir­ish­style pub, is slated to open this sum­mer at 21-23 W. Broad St., in a build­ing for­merly oc­cu­pied by Re­mem­ber When.

The tav­ern will have in­door and out­door seat­ing and per­for­mance stages in the for­mer pocket park be­tween it and the new arts cen­ter. The out­door fa­cil­ity also will have fire pits.

It will be like noth­ing the Ha­zle­ton area has seen, said Kathy Chiri­boga, who is lead­ing the de­vel­op­ment team for the busi­ness.

“The in­side of the pub will be mod­ern, like a steak­house and an Ir­ish pub,” she said. “Our menu will be farm-totable fresh and will be made up of dif­fer­ent types of foods you see in a larger city. There will be live mu­sic.”

Chiri­boga’s fa­ther, Ken Gottstein, of Gottstein Corp. — an in­dus­trial and me­chan­i­cal con­trac­tor spe­cial­iz­ing in the food and bev­er­age in­dus­try — will build the pub in­te­rior.

“We will man­u­fac­ture just about ev­ery­thing in there,” Gottstein said. “We are wait­ing for draw­ings and to ob­tain per­mits to con­tinue with the in­side ren­o­va­tions. Con­struc­tion will start any day. At first, we an­tic­i­pated a win­ter open­ing. We are now look­ing at a late spring or early sum­mer open­ing. We will have valet park­ing.”

Broad & Bar­rel is not the firm’s first tav­ern. They also built and op­er­ate the Tap at Hum­boldt Beer De­pot along Route 924 in Hum­boldt, which has 25 beers from all over the world on tap, plus a num­ber of bour­bons, sin­gle-malt scotch, as well as hot and cold sand­wiches and flat­bread pizza.

The com­pany also built and op­er­ates El­e­vate Fit­ness & Well­ness cen­ter in the for­mer Hazle Twp. High School at North Church and 15th streets.

Gottstein Corp. em­ploys 200 at seven lo­ca­tions in the United States and Mex­ico, and gen­er­ates $9 mil­lion an­nu­ally for the lo­cal econ­omy, ac­cord­ing to Gottstein.

LaunchBox

Also sched­uled to open this year is a job in­cu­ba­tor that is a part­ner­ship be­tween Penn State Ha­zle­ton, CAN DO Inc., the Down­town Ha­zle­ton Al­liance for Progress and the Greater Ha­zle­ton Cham­ber of Com­merce. It will be lo­cated in a for­mer bingo hall at 13-15 W. Broad St.

CAN DO ren­o­vated the build­ing’s ex­te­rior. The down­town al­liance re­cently read­ver­tised for bids for in­te­rior work for the Penn State LaunchBox, which will be known as The Ha­zle­ton In­no­va­tion Col­lab­o­ra­tive.

“The first set of bids came in high,” Krista Sch­nei­der, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the al­liance, said. “So we had to take some of the items out, and re­bid it.”

The re­bid has pushed back the tar­get to open the new in­cu­ba­tor — where en­trepreneurs can start a busi­ness, with pro­fes­sional help — about six months, to this sum­mer, Sch­nei­der said.

Its first floor will be flex space with mov­able walls and tables, and con­fer­ence rooms. There will also be ar­eas com­mon to all in­cu­ba­tor ten­ants — a café area with coun­ter­tops, cof­fee mak­ers, mi­crowaves and a re­frig­er­a­tor, and small “maker space” with 3-D print­ers and other of­fice equip­ment.

Jo­ce­lyn Steren­chock, di­rec­tor of en­tre­pre­neur­ial ser­vices for CAN DO, said al­though the Launch Box has not yet opened, the pro­gram is in op­er­a­tion.

It con­sists of a four-week “boot camp” twice a year (the first be­gan in the fall) and a 15-week ac­cel­er­a­tor pro­gram once a year in the spring.

Steren­chock called the pro­gram “the meat and po­ta­toes” of how en­trepreneurs will learn to grow a suc­cess­ful busi­ness.

Com­mu­nity Bank, N.A., re­cently pre­sented $5,000 to the Down­town Ha­zle­ton Al­liance for Progress. The do­na­tion is part of a larger Penn­syl­va­nia Depart­ment of Com­mu­nity and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Neigh­bor­hood As­sis­tance Pro­gram, Spe­cial Project Pri­or­i­ties tax credit ap­pli­ca­tion. From left are John Dorne­man, Com­mu­nity Bank vice pres­i­dent and com­mer­cial bank­ing of­fi­cer; Krista Sch­nei­der, down­town al­liance ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor; and Bar­bara Mac­ul­loch, Com­mu­nity Bank pres­i­dent of Penn­syl­va­nia bank­ing. The al­liance will ded­i­cate the funds to 2019 en­trepreneur­ship ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram­ming of the Penn State LaunchBox, which is sched­uled for com­ple­tion this sum­mer.

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