Bartari: A Trip Down Memory Lane for New Restaurant in Scranton

SCRANTON, Pa. -- There are plans for a bar in downtown Scranton that closed about a decade ago. The new bar will rely heavily on its patrons' nostalgia.

Molly Brannigan's on the corner of Lackawanna Avenue and Adams Avenue has been closed for quite some time. So long, that many other businesses nearby thought it would never reopen.

But the old bar has been purchased and the owners have a unique plan.

"For Sale" signs have gone up and down for almost a decade and some doubted that Molly Brannigan's on Lackawanna Avenue would ever be sold.

Pete Ventura owns Coney Island lunch a few doors down. He says the loss of another restaurant was something he had to get used to.

"When Molly Brannigan's was here, we got a lot of overflow from people walking by or even their employees that were working there. So, when they left, it was really depressing because, especially, it was a beautiful building, it was a beautiful bar and they just couldn't make it," said Ventura.

When the "For Sale" signs went down again earlier this year, Ventura didn't think anything of it. Then, he saw a construction crew arrive.

That crew is now renovating the inside. A developer from South Abington Township plans to reopen the space as "Bartari," a bar and restaurant with a host of retro arcade video games.

"I think it's a wonderful idea. It's going to bring traffic down to the city, nightlife will increase, as well as people stopping in like out business and little mom and pop shops here, too. It will create a nice crowd," said Lindsay Barrasse at AFA Gallery.

Lackawanna Avenue had less foot traffic than other parts of downtown. The businesses that are here say they've already started to see a change but the new addition will help.

"The change is here already, believe it or not. We just started using 'DoorDash' now and that's because there's a lot of millennials that are living in these apartments down here. A lot of them don't drive, they commute to New York and Philly. And that's more and more, that's why they keep building them, there's a demand for them, otherwise they wouldn't be doing it," Ventura said.

The crew working on Bartari say they're just getting started on the demolition inside. There is no word yet on when the place will open.

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