The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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April 4, 2013

CamTran hopes to find restaurant tenant by June

JOHNSTOWN — June 1 is less than two months away.

But, despite the short time frame until the unofficial start of summer, Cambria County Transit Authority Chairman Edward Cernic Jr. feels there is enough time to find a new occupant for what was, until recently, City View Bar & Grill.

The dining space, located on Edgehill Drive in Westmont, next to the Inclined Plane, became available when the CamTran board voted last week to evict the tenants, Andy and Katie Lasky.

Cernic thinks the process of finding a new tenant can move quickly.

“That (schedule) is a little aggressive, I understand, but I think it’s doable,” said Cernic, the county controller.

CamTran expects to advertise within the next few days. Applications will be due by the end of April.

“It behooves us to not rush this, but to move it along as expeditiously as we can and put the right restaurateur in there,” Cernic said.

The chairman said about a dozen individuals have already made “pretty serious inquiries.”

“Obviously, there are a lot of restaurateurs that are interested in that location,” said Cambria County Commissioner Thomas Chernisky. “I think it’s a great location.”

CamTran plans to require the new tenant to open the restaurant within

45 days of being selected. Other financial parameters will be established, according to Cernic.

“The transit authority, I know, will do a good job of talking to those folks and putting things in place to get a restaurateur up there,” Chernisky said.

“It’s not like they’re going out right now and beating down doors; they’re coming to them.”

Equipment and furniture will already be in place for the new occupant.

Andy Lasky lashed out last week at CamTran, saying he and his wife invested in the furnishings and equipment, which CamTran now owns.

When evicting the Laskys, the board expressed concerns about the establishment’s history of late rent payments, outstanding debts and utility shutoffs, along with impending asset seizures.

Andy Lasky responded by saying he and his wife invested $400,000 to keep the restaurant open during bad times.

Lasky admitted he owes approximately $400,000 to the Internal Revenue Service and other creditors, including $7,000 in back rent to CamTran.

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