Coatesville, Chester County

Coatesville, Chester County. (Photo by Jon Dawson, Flickr)

The dormant Coatesville Cultural Society building at 143 E. Lincoln Highway may be home to a lively Arooga’s Grill House and Sports Bar franchise by January 2020, James and Steve DePetris told Coatesville City Council on June 10.

The DePetris brothers, of DEPG Associates and Legend Properties, are the managing partners behind the Coatesville Gateway Redevelopment Project near the Cultural Society building. The brothers said they anticipate attending City Council’s July 8 meeting with funding, a construction loan and a franchise owner ready to proceed with a 300-seat restaurant.

“We hope to have a completed building before the end of the year,” Steve DePetris said. “We’re spending a lot of money to move forward.”

Council told DePetris they would like to read all legal documents associated with the proposed public-private partnership before giving final approval, and that City Manager Michael Trio and council would work with the development group in anticipation of moving forward at the July meeting.

Arooga’s is a growing Harrisburg-based franchise that has been serving burgers, wings and sandwiches for just over a decade. Last year, Entrepreneur Magazine named Arroga’s one of the nation’s top food franchises.

Trio said Gateway construction is well underway. Council approved moving forward with $900,000 in planned improvements for sidewalks, streetscaping, lighting, outdoor furniture and parking adjacent to Gateway and on Diamond Avenue. Funding was secured through a state Department of Transportation Multimodal Transportation Fund Grant.

Council also applauded resident David Terry of Fathers Involved Shedding Hope. For the past four years, Terry worked with 30 sponsors and many volunteers to run a May fishing derby for local children at the Coatesville River Walk.

Fathers Involved Shedding Hope Coatesville will also run an outdoor camping event for children July 20 at the Riverwalk.

Council also held a swearing-in ceremony for William Carter, a former part-time city police officer who was named a full-time officer. Carter was a Pennsylvania state trooper for 21 years.

Acting on advice from police Chief John Laufer, council also approved offering part-time patrol jobs to four applicants. Laufer said the hirings won’t impact the police budget, but will complete a list of available officers as needed.

Council also fielded questions about the 110 banners honoring veterans which were recently placed on light poles along Lincoln Highway.

President Linda Lavender-Norris said the banners have brought a sense of pride in local heroes to the community, and are a project of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 287. The post is accepting applications from residents interested in honoring more veterans, and they will be hung on side streets next year.

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