Downtown makeover continues in New CumberlandItalian restaurant moving in, West Shore Theatre staging a comeback
Plans are in the works to bring new tenants to some longtime anchor properties in New Cumberland.
The new activity is concentrated in the 300 block of Bridge Street, a key block in the borough's downtown. New business owners are poised to remake the longtime home of The Dingeldein Bakery, revive the West Shore Theatre and fill up the former Coakley's Restaurant and Irish Pub.
"Stuff is starting to feed each other," New Cumberland Mayor Doug Morrow said.
Morrow said he envisions a thriving downtown where people can walk the streets, browse through local shops, grab dinner and a drink, and catch a movie or show.
Last week, NAI CIR leased the former Shugar's Philly Deli space at 316 Bridget St. to the owners of Zanelli's, an Italian restaurant in Dover. The business also is a vendor at Central Market in York.
Shugar's abruptly closed around Christmas after about four years. The space was previously occupied for nearly 20 years by The Dingeldein Bakery.
Joan Milner, who owns Zanelli's with her brother, chef Daniel Stasiak, said the goal is to open a restaurant and Italian bakery in New Cumberland by mid-June.
When the New Cumberland location opens, Milner said, they plan to close the Dover restaurant and York market stand so they can focus on one central operation.
"We have been looking to expand into a larger facility," Milner said. "When we saw this area, we thought this was a great place to combine both our businesses."
Zanelli's will have bakery cases with fresh baked bread, soups, salads and other quick takeout items, including Italian desserts. The restaurant will serve homemade pasta dishes and pizzas, along with other handmade entrees, sandwiches and appetizers.
"The space is perfect for what we want to do," Milner said.
Zanelli's is planning to open Tuesday through Sunday, with a Sunday brunch omelet bar.
Milner is from the Red Lion area, while her brother lives in New Cumberland. She said they want to be part of the revitalization efforts in New Cumberland, having scouted several locations in York before choosing the Cumberland County borough.
However, the Zanelli's plan will mean an ice cream business that shared space with Shugar's will be displaced, according to a Facebook post by the owners.
Across the street from the restaurant space, a group of investors that includes Morrow is redeveloping Coakley's into new restaurant and retail space. Coakley's, which spanned multiple parcels along Bridge and Third streets, was a longtime borough establishment closed by bankruptcy in 2014. New tenants have been filling it back in.
Recent newcomers include Lemoyne-based Dead Lightning Distillery, which opened a retail tasting room in March at 311 Bridge St.
The distillery joined Funtastik, a skateboarding and snowboarding shop, that opened at 309 Bridge St.
A brewpub restaurant called Bridge Street Brew Works is in the works for the main Coakley's space at 305 Bridge St. Final details have not yet been announced by the brewpub's owner.
Morrow said he is hoping to see renovations begin in the coming weeks and believes the brewpub will be open by September.
In addition to his role in the Coakley's overhaul, Morrow is part of a new Friends of the West Shore Theatre group. The group is seeking nonprofit status to operate the shuttered West Shore Theatre for the new building owners, Joe and Ben Kowalczyk.
The group will hold public meetings on May 17 and May 24 at the New Cumberland Fire House in a bid to get community feedback on the future of the theater, according to its Facebook page.
Morrow said the goal is to get the theater back up and running by next year, which will be the 80th anniversary of the theater. The early plan, he said, would be to show classic and children's movies at the theater. Hollywood classics like "Gone with the Wind" and "The Wizard of Oz" were released in 1939.
He also would like to use the theater for community plays, concerts and stand-up comedy shows.
The friends group plans to raise money to help cover operational costs of the theater. Morrow expects the fundraising goal will be set around $500,000 over a five-year period. Over time, he said, the hope is that community theater functions will raise enough money to help pay for building restorations.