The Southern Chester County Weeklies (http://www.southernchestercountyweeklies.com)


By CARL ROTENBERG, crotenberg@timesherald.com

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

EAST NORRITON — The board of supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved the transfer of a liquor license for Via Veneto Pizzeria following a hearing.

The transfer moved the liquor license from the recently closed Four Seasons Banquet Hall at 1339 Sandy St., Norristown, to the Via Veneto restaurant at 2688 DeKalb Pike in East Norriton.

The family-owned Via Veneto restaurant had been located at 1803 Markley St. in Norristown from 1983 to April 2013, when the restaurant closed and moved to the East Norriton location to facilitate an ambitious reconstruction plan for the Norristown location.

Dominic Stabile, the president of Via Veneto, said the East Norriton restaurant would be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week to serve alcohol. The restaurant will serve beer and wine when it is open and sell packages of beer for take-out service.

Solicitor Sean Kilkenny asked if the restaurant staff would enforce the Pennsylvania liquor laws against underage drinking.

“Whatever is required, that is what will be done,” Stabile said. “We have never served liquor before but we will follow the rules. We don’t want to hurt something that was expensive to get.”

When supervisors’ Chairman John Zurzola asked, “Does beer go with water ice?,” the question was greeted by laughter from the board. The pizzeria is known in the area for its Italian water ice.

Township Manager Don Delamater asked, “When you moved, this (East Norriton location) was going to be temporary. Do you intend to stay here?”

Stabile said the “East Norriton location will be more of a restaurant and the Norristown location will be a pizza shop.”

Before the hearing began, Stabile said the liquor license purchase from Morris Catering LLC had cost more than $210,000.

Morris Catering operated the banquet business at Four Seasons Banquet Hall for the past seven years but recently shut down.

The liquor license transfer will be reviewed by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board before the license sale is finalized.

Stabile was accompanied at the hearing by Vito Parisi, vice president of Via Veneto, and Salvatore Gambone III, an East Norriton Realtor.

There was no public comment from residents about the license transfer.

Stabile said that plans to rebuild the Norristown location had been delayed by problems assembling the necessary paperwork and the required 2013 federal tax return for a bank loan. The proposed loan of close to $1 million for the Norristown shop will come from the Victory Bank of Limerick, Stabile said.

The proposed Norristown pizza restaurant will have seating for 150 patrons and a larger parking lot. An adjacent parcel was purchased to allow for the expansion.

“I am in support of the resolution,” Zurzola said before the resolution was adopted.

Supervisors’ Vice Chairman Harris Dainoff asked, “What does this license entitle the applicant to?”

Zoning Officer Bryan Bortnichak replied, “It allows the sale of beer and wine as takeout and it allows the sale of beer, wine and liquor in the restaurant.”

In other business Tuesday, the board held a public hearing and reduced the posted speed limit on the eastern end of Old Arch Road from 35 to 25 miles per hour and unanimously approved the ordinance change.

The western end of Old Arch Road, with commercial buildings near Johnson Highway, will be maintained at 35 miles per hour, said traffic engineer Russ Benner.

Zurzola said there were several other roads in the township that had a 35-mile-per-hour speed limit that could be reduced in the future.

Katie Bambi Kohler contributed to this story.

Follow Carl Rotenberg on Twitter @CarlWriter.