Downtown Hazleton’s revitalization is moving ahead full steam on the north side of Broad Street between Wyoming and Laurel streets, where construction crews are working on the future home of Broad and Barrel, an Irish style pub and restaurant that is expected to open in mid 2018.
CAN DO, Inc. purchased the building at 21-23 West Broad Street a year ago as part of its continuing commitment to the downtown with plans to renovate it into a beautiful addition to the streetscape and to attract a tenant like the one that will be leasing the building to operate the eatery.
Gottstein Chiriboga Holdings, Inc., has entered into a lease agreement with CAN DO for the building with plans on offering a pub-style lunch and dinner menu, craft and domestic beers, a full bar and entertainment several nights a week, said Scott Gottstein, a Gottstein Chiriboga vice president. The corporation is owned by Scott, his parents Ken and Barbara, sister, Kathy and her husband, Pablo.
Work on the façade of the building began several weeks ago by CAN DO and is expected to be completed sometime in January. Plans for the eatery include an outdoor eating garden between the pub and the former Security Savings building which will be converted into a City Arts Center that will be the focal point of arts and culture in the downtown.
“CAN DO is continuing its commitment to the City of Hazleton and Greater Hazleton by investing in our downtown,” said Kevin O’Donnell, CAN DO’s president. “The CAN DO Community Foundation has taken an active role in our downtown as well and is investing in its revitalization. When this restaurant opens next year and the Arts Center is completed, it will be a beautiful destination and will attract more people to our center city. CAN DO has been a part of the downtown since the 1990s when we built our headquarters at the intersection of Broad and Church streets.”
Broad and Barrel is just one of several ventures the Gottstein family have launched in Greater Hazleton. Ken and Barbara Gottstein founded Gottstein Corporation in 1984 as an industrial mechanical contracting company primarily for the food and beverage industry that has grown to a world-wide company with offices here and in Chicago, Illinois, and Dallas, Texas, as well as Mexico. In 2005, they opened Humboldt Industrial Supply in downtown Hazleton and then in 2015 added a second location for the hardware and supply store along Route 924 at Humboldt.
Several months ago, their realty company purchased the former Hazleton-Saint Joseph Fitness Center building at the intersection of Church and 15th streets and has converted that building into a total wellness and fitness center and a café, juice bar and smoothie shop. The fitness center, called Elevate, opened November 1. The café and juice bar are expected to open soon, Gottstein said.
The Gottsteins also opened a restaurant and bar in 2016 in Humboldt named Tap at Humboldt that features a large selection of craft beers and a menu of sandwiches and specialty pizzas. Each week Tap at Humboldt features bands from the area and musicians from around the state and some from other parts of the world.
“Hazleton has done a lot for our family and we wanted to give back to the community and see our town succeed. There are a lot of good people investing in our downtown and we are excited to see people taking action,” Gottstein said, referring in part to the Hayden and DeAngelo families who have invested in renovating the three tallest buildings in center city. “We hope that with more opportunities, more of our young people will want to stay in the area.”
In describing plans for Broad and Barrel, Gottstein said the pub will have sliding glass doors and windows that will be open during nice weather to bring the inside atmosphere out onto the sidewalk and into the eating garden.
“We will be serving lunch and dinner and will have an eclectic menu. We are currently looking for the right chef for Broad and Barrel. The pub will initially be open five days a week and we are planning on putting an emphasis on music with bands probably playing two nights a week,” he said.
“We are hoping that this new venture adds to the good work already going on and brings activity back into our downtown. We are excited to be a part of the revitalization,” Gottstein said.