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New life for former lounge in Luzerne County

A former lounge that's sat empty for two years is making a comeback this weekend in Luzerne County. Newswatch 16's Elizabeth Worthington shows us what's planned.

MOUNTAIN TOP, Pa. — A couple from Luzerne County is bringing a shuttered bar back to life this weekend. Newswatch 16's Elizabeth Worthington shows us how they plan to use it to help the community.

Dean Kline has always dreamed of owning a business.

So, when this place in Wright Township went up for sale, the place where he and his wife Carrie fell in love, it seemed like an obvious choice.

"Yup, we dated here, when I was 21 or so, yeah. This was the place. This was always the place to be," said Dean.

The building has been empty for two years. This weekend, it will reopen as the Mountaintop Pub & Eatery.

"I mean, we had to start from scratch. We really did. They were 'closed closed.' We had to do everything from gutting the kitchen, getting that up, making the menu, hiring people. So, it's all been brand new, and we've never done this before," said Carrie Kline.

This place used to be called The Shalimar. It was a popular bar and lounge and it closed right before COVID-19 hit. 

However, the new owners are waiting on some new signage. Everything's delayed because of COVID-19. So right now, they're relying on word of mouth and social media to let people know they're open.

"Everyone's super excited. And I'm nervous because everyone's super excited," added Carrie.

The couple doesn't just want to serve up good food and drinks. They want to serve the community as a whole.

They plan to feature a different local artist every month, host live musicians every weekend, and allow customers to round up their bills for a different charity each month.

Dean Kline thinks all of this might be part of the reason they had no problem hiring staff.

He said, "I think that helps. People want to be a part of something, not to sound cheesy, but something special in that regard, or something that matters. It's not just a paycheck, you feel like you're making a difference."

The grand opening is this Saturday, January 29. The doors open at 4 p.m. and the band begins at 9 p.m.

Click here for Mountaintop Pub & Eatery's Facebook page.

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