A big congrats to our good friends at MINT. The Lombardo family came to the city of Bethlehem, PA in 1982 and since then they have been nothing short of a FANTASTIC addition to this amazing Christmas City. Below, is an article that Lehighvalleywithlove.com posted in regards to a recent economic development grant they received from the City of Bethlehem to make a positive dent in Bethlehem’s economic growth! Look for MINT to open later this year on West Broad Street in Bethlehem, PA. Congratulations!
“Liquor licenses aren’t easy to get. Especially in cities that are kinda overrun with bars already (See: Bethlehem, Pa). And, if you’re lucky enough to be able to get one, be ready to pay a king’s ransom in order to do so.
(Side note: Always wanted to use the phrase “a king’s ransom” in context and I did. 2011 resolution #1 is done!)
This is the reason you see a lot of new restaurants opening up and offering BYOB. Sure, it’s OK and all bringing in your wine like you’re going on a picnic, but if you really want to attract a crowd that has any sort of sophistication you need to have a wine list and some sweet martinis. Am I right?
After turning down two in 2005, city council on Tuesday approved a rare economic development liquor license for a new restaurant in West Bethlehem.
The two previous applications faced opposition from other restaurateurs in the Center City and South Side business districts, but Tuesday’s application to grant the license to a building at 1233 W. Broad St. received nothing but support.
Restaurateurs Stefano and Dominic Lombardo, who also own Stefano’s Restaurant on Linden Street, said the fiercely competitive market for liquor licenses in Lehigh County made it impossible for them to afford a traditional liquor license. Economic development licenses, which also need state approval, can only be granted once all reasonable means to obtain a traditional liquor license have been exhausted.
The Lombardos plan to renovate a former Bank of America building into a contemporary bistro called The Mint. The family had planned to spend $80,000 on a liquor license but found liquor licenses in Lehigh County were going for at least double that, said Jim Scants, a legislative aide to state Sen. Lisa Osceola, D-Northampton/Lehigh/Monroe, who represented the family before city council.
While Northampton County has 26 available liquor licenses, Lehigh County only has three, making them sell at a premium amount, Schantz said.
Economic development liquor licenses cost only $50,000, an amount some Bethlehem restaurateurs called unfair when the Sun Inn and Starters Riverport applied for them in 2005. Starters Riverport later got a transferred liquor license from Pen Argyl. Source
Sweet deal for them. I’m sure some people are going to bitch (See BYOB Main Street restaurants Olio and Mama Nina). But, you know what kids? Sometimes it takes a little bit of maneuvering to get what you want.
These guys are my heroes. ”
Thanks LVWL for the article!