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Isaac's moves out, brewery moves in

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Isaac's, a Lancaster-based restaurant chain, opened a store last March in downtown York.At the end of this month, that store will close and a new tenant will move in.
Isaac's, a Lancaster-based restaurant chain, opened a store last March in downtown York.At the end of this month, that store will close and a new tenant will move in. - (Photo / )

One business is moving out of downtown York, but another is lined up to move in.

Isaac’s On the Fly will be closing its doors on July 27, Mike Weaver, president and CEO of Isaac’s, said Tuesday.

The Lancaster-based chain opened its first new restaurant in York in 17 years in March 2017 as one of the retail tenants at REVI Flats, a mixed-use development undertaken by Royal Square Development and Construction involving buildings at 9, 23 and 44 W. Market St.

The York location was the chain's first and only express fast-casual model restaurant. Instead of table service, customers ordered at a front counter. The On the Fly model also included breakfast hours.

But the restaurant did not generate enough business, said Weaver.

"We had hoped the breakfast [offerings] would take off more in the downtown. We didn’t expect dinner and weekend [patronage] to be so low," he said. "But if you asked me if I would do it all over again, I’d tell you I would. I believe strongly in York City’s revitalization and that the city will continue to prosper and grow over the future." 

Though there are currently no plans to open another On the Fly model, Weaver said the company isn't giving up on the concept. In the future, however, he said, he might consider an even smaller facility than the one in York. Isaac’s currently operates 17 locations in Central Pennsylvania.

The business also provided a limited menu and food to patrons of Crystal Ball Brewing Co.’s downtown location a few doors down on South Beaver Street. 

Once Isaac’s closes its door at the end of July, Old Forge Brewing Co. will sublet the 2,500 square-foot corner space, which was formerly occupied by Weinbrom Jewelers. Isaac’s had signed a 10-year lease when it took over the space last March.

Based in Danville, Montour County, Old Forge is expected to open a tasting room and restaurant in the fall. The addition of Old Forge will bring the total number of craft breweries in downtown York to six, said Silas Chamberlin, CEO of Downtown Inc. Besides Old Forge, Mudhook Brewing Co., Collusion Tap Works, Liquid Hero, and Crystal Ball Brewing  call downtown York home. Gift Horse Brewing Co. plans to open in the near future.

"We see Downtown York as quickly becoming a destination for craft beer enthusiasts. Few cities of York’s size can point to having half a dozen craft breweries, let alone six within easy walking distance of each other," he said. "We see Old Forge as a great addition not only to our brewing scene, but to downtown York as a whole."

 

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Emily Thurlow

Emily Thurlow

​Emily Thurlow covers York County​ for the Central Penn Business Journal. Have a tip? Drop her a line at ethurlow@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter @localloislane.

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