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December 19, 2013

Restaurateur seeks city funds

NEW CASTLE — Paul Katsadas is seeking city funds to help in the start-up of his restaurant in downtown New Castle.

Katsadas, whose family owns the Red Hot Restaurant in Ellwood City, plans to open a similar eatery at the site of the former Hudson Lunch.

At council’s work session Tuesday, he asked for $65,000 to allow him to buy new equipment. Calling the inside dilapidated, Katsadas said he needs a new ceiling, new counter tops and new seating.

He said he has been working to make renovations, adding, “It’s getting better, but I need your help.”

He noted the Ellwood City restaurant, begun by his father, John, has been in existence for 43 years. Katsadas said he has managed it the past 10 years.

“I was born here,” he said. “I want to bring what I know from Ellwood back to where I came from.”

Katsadas said he has a three-year lease with building owner Paul Lynch, with an option to renew or purchase the property.

Councilmen William Panella and Richard Beshero expressed concern that if Lynch does not renew the lease, he ends up with newly renovated building paid for with city money.

Katsadas responded, “Whatever I buy goes with me to a new location downtown.”

Katsadas’ wife, Michelle, said they have every intention of buying the restaurant. She said their only concern is getting through the first year of operation.

Katsadas said even without city funds, he still intends to open the restaurant, with an opening date set for April.

Council president MaryAnne Gavrile said she believes it’s a business that “will sustain itself.”

Katsadas told council the Ellwood City restaurant does 5,000 hot dogs a week. He provided samples to council members and visitors prior to the meeting. But he said the restaurant will provide fare in addition to hot dogs.

Councilman Thomas Smith told Katsadas he may have to make another appeal after the first of the year because new members will be joining council in January.

Matthew Staniszewski, the city’s community and economic development director, said $200,000 remains from a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant. He said he plans to meet with Katsadas about that grant and other sources of funding that may be available.

(Email: jmanna@ncnewsonline.com)

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