Sunday, February 16, 2014

Great American Pub to open in iconic Phoenixville building

The family that owns the Great American Pub has put the Columbia House in Phoenixville, Pa., under agreement with an eye toward bringing the popular eatery to the Chester County borough.
The Hemchers anticipate closing on the Victorian building at 148 Bridge St. in a month and has plans to spend roughly $500,000 to renovate the structure on the inside and out.
The 13,555-square-foot property, a landmark in Phoenixville, was put up for sale last year as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding filed by an entity that owned it. The property was initially listed for $1.8 million and then lowered to $1.6 million. The asking price was dropped to $1.4 million and the Hemchers are reportedly paying close to that amount.
This will be the fourth Great American Pub for the Hemchers. Other locations of the popular dining spot include West Chester, Pa., Wayne, Pa., and Conshohocken, Pa.
“It’s going to be magnificent,” Tom Hemcher said.
Plans call for restoring a decorative bar, installing new flooring and booths, putting up new stucco on the exterior among other interior and exterior improvements.
“It just needs a good cleaning,” Hemcher said.
The family had looked in Phoenixville 15 years ago but couldn’t find a property that worked for them. Someone recently mentioned to Hemcher that the Columbia House was on the market and he reached out to West, who had the listing. She told him the property was already under agreement. Then, three weeks ago, West called to tell him that the original deal had fallen through. The Hemchers seized on the opportunity.
“We all fell in love with it,” Hemcher said about the building. “It’s going to be the talk of the town.”
The location was also appealing because of the “good vibe” that Phoenixville has, he said.
“The town is really up and coming,” he said. “There’s a lot of energy there.”
Hemcher expects what will be called the Great American Pub and Hotel to open by summer. (It's not set to be a hotel, it's just borrowing the name from the building's past use.)

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