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City Center seeks liquor license for new Allentown restaurant proposal

Allentown City Hall
Jason Addy
Allentown City Council is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday on City Center's request to bring another liquor license to downtown.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Allentown’s most prominent developer is looking to bring another liquor license downtown.

City Center purchased a much-coveted liquor license from Haaks School House in Germansville and hopes to use it for a ground-floor restaurant at The Nines at Cityplace, its 78-apartment complex at 950 W. Hamilton St.

Executives are “in discussions with multiple restaurateurs to fill that location,” but the company is not ready to announce any further details, according to spokesman Jeff Vaughan.

Allentown City Council is scheduled to hold a hearing at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday on the developer’s request to transfer liquor licenses between municipalities.

If the transfer is approved, the liquor license would move from Haaks School House.

Liquor licenses do not come cheap in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board auctioned off a liquor license in Northampton County last year, with the top bidder putting up $400,000, according to the agency.

The last liquor license auctioned in Allentown netted $50,000.

City Center believes the West Hamilton Street location is “a great spot for a restaurant” because it will be directly across the street from The Archer Music Hall and The Moxy, its latest projects in downtown Allentown, according to Vaughan.

The concert venue and boutique hotel are on track to open in the fall, with construction crews making steady progress on both structures.

Global hotel chain Marriott is set to operate the new boutique hotel under its Moxy brand when it opens this fall, City Center announced last year.

City Center broke ground in October on the five-story, 140-room hotel at the corner of Tenth and Hamilton streets.

Another industry leader is set to run the show at The Archer.

Live Nation signed a long-term contract to bring acts to the venue at 935-939 W. Hamilton St., according to several sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly of the deal.

Vaughan would not confirm the choice of Live Nation, but he did not deny that an operator has been selected.