Dale Turner Lucas Leventry

Dale Turner, left, speaks at Thursday’s New Castle city council meeting while describing a loan awarded to Lucas Leventry, right, and his new The Cornerstone Restaurant.

A new restaurant will be opening soon in downtown New Castle.

A $20,000 loan will help it.

The Cornerstone Restaurant will soon occupy 333 E. Washington St. as part of a revitalization effort led by DON Services in the lower courthouse area. The Cornerstone’s owner, Lucas Leventry, appeared at Thursday’s city council meeting with Dale Turner.

The restaurant could open as early as Sept. 20, Leventry said.

Turner, part of the Enterprise Zone Revolving Loan Fund Committee, explained the application process and overall business plan for the new venture, which will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays.

“(The loan is) designed to actually encourage entrepreneurship and new business in the city of New Castle within certain zones,” Turner said.

He added that loan money will go to startup costs and initial payroll. The restaurant will occupy the building which formerly housed Four Brothers Urban Bistro and is owned by DON Services. DON owns the other buildings in that area, including the former Clark’s Furniture building and the train station.

The train station is where Union Station Craft Distillery will soon operate, and a speakeasy is also planned for the area. Leventry’s restaurant will not serve alcohol, but alcohol will be available at the speakeasy next door.

Leventry has a background as an award-winning executive chef for senior living communities and at Slippery Rock University. He is also an owner of the catering service L&L Regal Events, which will relocate into the restaurant. The restaurant will offer barbecue, soul food and appetizers like wings and fried vegetables.

At the start, four jobs will be created with the potential for 10 more in the first three years.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, council unanimously voted to terminate an agreement with ExUrban Planning on behalf of the Citywide Development Corporation. This comes a year after council voted to pick ExUrban, of Kittanning, to lead its community and economic development. Mayor Chris Frye at the time preferred the funding stay local and go to New Visions for Lawrence County.

In its proposal, ExUrban would have worked 10 hours a week at $90 per hour. New Visions’ Angie Urban proposed 25 hours at $25 an hour with $18,000 set aside for subcontracted grant writing work to the Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation.

Council also moved forward with a plan to allow Lamar Advertising to move forward on erecting a billboard on property owned by the Redevelopment Corporation near the State Street and Sampson Street interchange.

psirianni@ncnewsonline.com

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Pete Sirianni is the News' assistant editor and digital editor. He is a proud Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduate, earning a degree in journalism and public relations. Contact him at psirianni@ncnewsonline.com or on Twitter at @PeterSirianni.

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