Excellent reporter for the Northeast Times, John Loftus recaps the EPIC Stakeholders meeting last week and gives the details of 1520 Arrott Street issue. Read it all here.
At the EPIC Stakeholders meeting on Thursday night, Vern McDonald the new owner of 1520 Arrott Street, set the record straight on his plan for the property. His initial intention was to make it a Gentleman’s club but when he saw the bureaucratic hurdles necessary to achieve that end, he decided to go in the direction of a sit down restaurant instead with a liquor license. He is working on the three apartments at this stage of the renovation but has not begun work on the business area yet. He has taken steps to secure the property to make the corner less attractive to the drug dealers who may want to conduct business there. You can see the video below of his presentation and the answers to some questions from some of those attending the meeting.
Kim Washington did an admirable job of keeping what could have been a very contentious meeting moving in a positive direction. There was universal agreement that nobody in the community wants a return of that property to its former status as a nuisance bar. At the same time, having it sit vacant and idle is also undesirable.
Vern has made an investment in this property and therefore has to make it work financially. However it won’t work without community support. The bone of contention is that everybody can support a restaurant but there is a great deal of concern about serving liquor. It was pointed out that restaurants that we travel to outside of the neighborhood (Red Lobster, Olive Garden) all serve alcohol.
Suggestion was made to open the restaurant at first without the liquor license and then get community support and add that later. You can see comments and suggestions from Jason Dawkins, Phil Robinson, Barry Howell, Marie Delany, Lynda DeSouza and other in the video below. In any case, if Vern opens his place and the community fails to support it, it will all be to no avail.
Vern agreed to work with the Frankford CDC and to come back to the EPIC Stakeholders future meetings to keep the community informed of his plans and progress.
Below is the flyer for this month’s EPIC Stakeholders meeting. This group is has become the meeting place for community issues. This month, on June 30th, along with other important subjects, Vern McDonald will make his proposal to the community for the reopening of the old Primos Sports bar at 1520 Arrott Street.
Northwood Civic held their last meeting before the Summer recess last Tuesday. A number of routine zoning issues were on the agenda. In addition there were complaints about the illegal and unsightly signs that festoon every available surface throughout the neighborhood. Joe Krause is leading the charge against the sign people and the zoning issues are being dealt with as needed.
But the big news was the issue of the former Primos bar at 1520 Arrott Street. I won’t repeat what Chris Wink has already detailed on NEeastPhilly.com so follow the link and check it out. The bottom line is there will be an opportunity to hear from the owner of the property about his plans next Thursday, June 30, at the EPIC Stakeholders meeting at Aria Health.
This is no time to sit on the sidelines.
After much speculation and commenting on a few of our posts, the apparent new owner of 1520 Arrott Street has checked in with a comment. According to “vern new property owner”:
it is unfare to judge me or wat im doing if u have not stopped to talk with me. That was the the past let it go this is a change for the good
There’s no signage posted on obvious renovating; if it’s going back to a bar, there’s no posting of the liquor license. Vern, would you please check in with the Frankford Civic and let them know what’s going on with the building. We’d all love to frankfly. According to their webiste, you can reach them at email@example.com and at (215) 821-9124.
It would also be awesome if you could check in with Jason Dawkins in Counselwoman Sanchez’s office, who seems to be running point with this civic issue. His number is 215-686-3448.
And I’d really like any contacted parties to keep The Frankford Gazette in the loop so we can accurately relay information to concerned residents. The worse thing for this neighborhood is rumor and inuendo. We’re at firstname.lastname@example.org.