Village Vine Gains Liquor License Approval
In a decision issued late last week, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board approved Village Vine LLC’s’ application for the transfer of a restaurant liquor license. Partner Lori Knauer said, “We’re delighted that the license has been approved and look forward to starting renovations and opening for business.”
After finalizing the transfer of the license, the hard work begins, Jill Gaieski said, “We take possession of the space next week. Then we have to get the architectural plans approved by the borough, and then we begin construction. We have until the end of March to get our final inspection and approval.”
Village Vine will be a wine bar that celebrates both the beverage and the food that it can enhance. The 700 square foot location will be equipped with a kitchen and a menu focusing on small plates that complement the enjoyment of varied wines. Gaieski said that without changing the existing footprint or façade, the first floor storefront will have room for 32 seats and an open kitchen. A few outside tables are also a possibility.
Three parties filed petitions to intervene in the license application: Patrick Flanigan, Lydia Pastuszek, and Robert Small. Citing the Pennylvania Supreme Court’s 1971 decision in Appeal of Pittaulis, the PLCB declared that the three did not have standing in the matter. Flanigan, though, notes that the Board did not rule on the matter of the applicability of the “Biddle Tract” deed restriction from 1892, which some believe would prohibit sale of alcohol at the 6 Park Avenue property. Flanigan stated, “The PLCB has no authority to address the deed issue, so they did not address that issue, [in] which I do have standing.”
The wine bar partners believe that the site is carved out from the Biddle Tract deed restriction. Gaieski said that if a suit is filed, “We are prepared to mount a vigorous defense.”
The Village Viners’ enthusiasm for the project is matched by their Swarthmore neighbors, Knauer said. “We love that we’ll be part of the renaissance envisioned by the Centennial Committee study on revitalizing the downtown, along with all the other business and property-owners. When I walk my dog, people yell across the street to ask when we’re opening!”