Entertainment Center's Liquor License Transfer OK'd

On Aug. 15, Lower Saucon Township Council approved a request by Frank Hospitality Saucon LLC for a liquor license transfer. The license will be used by a bowling-themed entertainment center the company plans to open in a former movie theater.

Over the impassioned objections of a township resident, Lower Saucon Township Council unanimously voted to allow the intermunicipal transfer of a liquor license from within the city of Easton to Frank Hospitality Saucon LLC Aug. 15.

The company, which is part of the Frank Family Entertainment Group, plans to open a bowling-themed dining and entertainment complex called "Revolutions" in on Route 378 this fall.

The building that will house the complex is owned by Joseph Posh, a Bethlehem Township developer who bought it when closed in the summer of 2011.

Suzette Califano, of West Raders Lane, lives adjacent to the building and was the only person to publicly oppose the requested transfer.

In spite of reassurances from Frank representatives that adequate safeguards will be in place to help prevent issues such as underage drinking and intoxication to excess, Califano questioned the emphasis being placed on alcohol as part of the business model.

After holding up printouts that she said detailed records of DUI arrests by Lower Saucon Township Police, Califano asked council members "Is this what we want in Lower Saucon?"

"We have . We have . We have that’s up for sale," she said, referring to other nearby establishments that serve alcohol. "I’m sorry.... I’d like to see a bowling alley and entertainment center without liquor. We don’t need it."

Califano questioned whether the locally-owned Starters, which will share a parking lot with Revolutions, could "be pushed out of business because of these people who come from out of state."

The Frank Family Entertainment Group is based in Jupiter, Fla. and Atlantic City, N.J., according to the Revolutions Entertainment website.

Califano also told council members she believes the new entertainment center and the problems she claimed it will bring will negatively affect her property value, as well as the tax burden shared by local residents.

“You know what’s going to happen? We’re going to need more police and our taxes are going to go up. I pay a lot in taxes,” she said.

However, tax revenue from commercial real estate is exactly what's needed by the township, Califano was told.

"We had a non-alcohol establishment there and it went out of business," council vice president Tom Maxfield said, referring to Regal. "Nobody’s benefiting from that empty building sitting there. We’re losing tax money."

Councilman David Willard agreed.

“We’re very happy to see a commercial business coming into that space,” he said. "Speaking for me, I’ll be there."

And council president Glenn Kern assured Califano that Lower Saucon Township Police will remain "vigilant" when it comes to the enforcement of alcohol laws.

Councilwoman Priscilla deLeon said Califano's reports of problems related to the use of an access road that runs behind the shopping center will be looked at.

According to a Frank representative who spoke at the meeting, the entertainment center will have hours of operation similar to those of a movie theater.

Frank opted not to make first-run movies part of the equation here because of the Saucon Square shopping center's proximity to the successful Rave multiplex at the nearby Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley in Upper Saucon Township, the representative said.

“It’s not the bowling alleys of old and we’ve found they’ve been extremely well-received,” he said of the Revolutions centers, which can be found in Florida and South Carolina but will be something new in the Lehigh Valley.

“Hopefully this’ll be the seed for the growth of the rest of that complex,” Kern said.

The other anchor tenant in the shopping center--a former supermarket--has been , and .

Stephanie Brown August 22, 2012 at 02:54 PM
You mean Tom Maxfield and Glenn Kern after all these years finally realized that there is a need for commerical development in the township? You mean they aren't just going to keep living off the revenue of the landfill? After the Meadow's was busted for serving alcohol to minors, I asked the township what they were going to do about it. They said they were not concerned about the issue. So yes it is sad to see yet another family themed business that will to serving alcohol with the possibility that minors will be served.I do not understand why family entertainment has to include the sale of alcohol. But I guess when you grow up with family members who abuse alcohol, you see it differently. And yes, the most important activity for LSTPD is DUI arrests, it has been that way for years. A component of the officer of the year award is based on how many DUI's the winner gets.
S. Detwiler August 22, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I agree Ms. Brown. Why does new business have to be alcohol based? Can't we promote healthier lifestyles? We could really use a big name sporting goods store in the area or a nice gym - and that area would be a great location!!! Wake up Lower Saucon Township Council members!!!!
Cynthia Robinson August 22, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Come on now, really. The building was already renovated and ready to go.....and then they get approval for liquor....that's politics.
Steve August 23, 2012 at 12:38 AM
If you have a drinking problem a bowling alley is not going to your prime place to satiate your thirst. Why do people feel that any establishment that serves liquor creates alchoholics ? I am sure the drinks at this establishment will be no bargain. It's a magnitude cheaper at a liquor store or a beer store. I think the nay sayers have their priorties mixed up.
Michele Gubish August 23, 2012 at 01:22 AM
The company website looks like this will be an amazing place. It will be a nice addition to the community. A sports store or gym while needed are not a family type of atmosphere.. A bowling alley is.... and from the looks of the website, it will be upscale with a dining area etc...
Berton August 23, 2012 at 01:44 AM
My family and I got hit on Rt. 378 by an intoxicated middle aged man, who was neither an alcoholic, nor poor (by any means). He just had a bit too much to drink with his friends at a restaurant a half mile away. He could have very easily killed us. Fortunately, we had our seat belts on and only received a broken arm and a minor head injury. Before this happened I could have cared less about this topic, but now my priorities are with keeping my family safe and out of harms way. Why wasn't this meeting pubicized beforehand?
Steve August 23, 2012 at 02:07 AM
I empathize with you but the real problem was the driver and not the restaurant. He could just as easily had drinks at a friends home or his own home. So where do you draw the line ? So you feel that all the thousands of restaurants in the state that serve liquor are a threat to your families safety ? If so, your issues are bigger than you think !


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