The restaurant space has been vacant since March, and city officials hope to select a new operator by May 1, with a minimum bid of $25,000 annually. “We need an operator who is able to draw a crowd even in the dead of winter, and who is able to be successful in a unique setting,” said the chairman of the city council’s budget and finance committee.
Six bids have been submitted for the chance to run the recently vacated restaurant at Allentown (Pa.) Municipal Golf Course, the Lehigh Valley (Pa.) Morning Call reported.
Louie’s Restaurant and Jack’s Slice, both in Allentown, Sal’s Pizza in South Whitehall Township, The Trapp Door Gastro Pub in Emmaus, and Elvio and Roselene Beito, former owners of La Gran Palma Night Club in Allentown, put in bids. So did a group known as RMM-LS LLC, the Morning Call reported.
City officials are evaluating each bid and will not release further information until that work is complete, the Morning Call reported.
The future of Allentown’s golf course restaurant has been up in the air since March, when operator Noti Enterprises informed city officials that it was seeking an early release from its four-year contract. Noti Enterprises operated Noti’s Clubhouse at the golf course for less than a year and failed to pay rent on time, neglecting to pay rent at all for six months, the Morning Call reported.
Peter Schweyer, chairman of City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee, said city officials and bidders should expect a stronger review by council this time around, given the “turmoil” over the restaurant in the last 18 months, the Morning Call reported.
“We need an operator who is able to draw a crowd even in the dead of winter, and it needs to be an operator who is able to be successful in a unique setting,” Schweyer said. “They have to understand the golf course crowd, but they have to understand that they can only be successful if they turn a profit.”
As part of a closing agreement for Noti Enterprises’ lease, Allentown officials forgave three months of unpaid rent due for months when the restaurant did not open. The city also bought used restaurant equipment from Noti Enterprises for $12,000, the Morning Call reported.
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski said this month that it was advantageous to get Noti Enterprises out of the space as quickly as possible with the approach of the golf season, the Morning Call reported.
Noti’s Clubhouse replaced Brew Works on the Green after city officials decided in 2012 to rebid the lease with a higher rent payment. Brew Works paid $35,000 annually for the restaurant. Noti’s Clubhouse, the only bidder, was charged $45,000, the Morning Call reported.
Officials said this month that they hoped to select a new operator by May 1. A request for proposal for the new lease states the minimum bid must be $25,000 annually, the Morning Call reported.
Until a new operator is approved for the restaurant, a bring-your-own-alcohol policy has been established for the golf course and Potts’ hot dog shop has been granted permission to operate in the restaurant space, the Morning Call reported.
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