New restaurant planned for Scranton

by Chuck Hoven

(Plain Press, June 2007) Residents near the corner of Scranton and Starkweather have high hopes for a new restaurant planned by business partners Chris Lieb and Jason Workman. Plans for the restaurant, the Tremont Tap House, call for “a constructive and enjoyable addition to the community.”

Lieb presented his business plan to a receptive audience at the May 10th meeting of the Lincoln Heights/Scranton-Starkweather Block Club.  The Tremont Tap House, said Lieb, will serve a wide variety of beers accompanied by modestly-priced foods ($5-$20) such as burgers, brats, sandwiches, dips, soups and salads and some low cost entrees. The presentation met with the approval of residents at the meeting, some of whom said they appreciated a  neighborhood restaurant that they could actually afford to go to. Lieb said the cash register can be programmed to offer discounts to frequent diners and  neighborhood residents.

Lieb said the bar and dining area on the first floor will offer 100 different varieties of beer, a state of the art tap system, surround sound and flat panel TVs. Upstairs will be an area geared for quieter dining and families. The first floor will also have a patio for outdoor dining.

Lieb also described features that will avoid the problems associated with his last venture at the site, the Starkweather Tavern. He noted that the music in the new facility would come from a CD player controlled by the bar. There will be no jukebox. He said a partition wall has been installed inside the front door with sound absorbent panels to buffer the noise as people come and go. Lieb is also working to reduce the window space to further reduce the amount of noise from the bar.

Lieb says the patio will comply with the existing cooperative agreement with neighbors and will close at midnight. He said any music on the patio will be low volume, and any changes will be brought to the block club. He said people will not be seated on the patio after 11:15 p.m.

Lieb estimates that the restaurant and bar will employ about 15 people, with about 9 employees working on a busy night. Lieb told neighbors “there may be parking issues initially, but we can work them out.”

Lieb said the first two weeks after opening the Tremont Tap House he will have extra security in place to help set the tone. He said the music, lighting, and brewery style food and beer on tap that cost $4 and up will help to set the atmosphere of the place. “We want to make it considerably different from the past,” he said.

Neighbors, already enamored with the new business plan, were happy to hear this message. In the past, block club members had expressed considerable discontent with the noise and unruly crowds attracted by the Starkweather Tavern.

The neighbors and Lieb, after a long struggle over what type of business was appropriate for the corner of Starkweather and Scranton, are finally in agreement and at peace.  As the meeting came to a close, Lieb joined with neighbors in planning a block party at the end of June. Lieb offered the use of a portable grill for the cookout.


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