Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Plans for the water ice shop have been withdrawn from Chestnut Hill Plaza.
While the first day of spring brings free water ice Tuesday, Monday brought the news that Chestnut Hill will not be having a Rita’s Water Ice. Not this season, at least. John Thain, would-be owner of the planned franchise for Chestnut Hill Plaza, announced that he has withdrawn his plans to put a Rita’s as the location. “We were in the game, right up until this week, and the primary reason is the landlord has another opportunity with another tenant,” Thain said. “As much as he said he was willing to support us, he was supporting us so far, he has a responsibility to the owners of the center to rent it.” The news comes after nearly six weeks of discussions between Thain and Ken Weinstein, owner of the Trolley Car Diner. The issue stemmed …
Friday, February 17, 2012
John Thain speaks.
Since the dispute between the Trolley Car Diner and Rita’s Water Ice has become public, Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy residents have weighed in both for and against a Rita’s leasing a vacant spot in Chestnut Hill Plaza. While John Thain, franchise owner of three Rita’s Water Ices, and Ken Weinstein, owner of The Trolley Car Diner, are still working on settling the dispute through arbitration, Thain weighed in on the comments against the water ice chain coming to the Hill. “People are saying we’re not local. Rita’s is based 14 miles from Chestnut Hill in Bensalem. We have donated over $3 million since 2007 to Alex’s Lemonade Stand, through efforts of individual franchisees like myself,” Thain said. Not only is the corporate infrastructure …
Friday, February 10, 2012
Writing about a recent issue.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Anyone from this area taking a trip down Germantown Avenue feels worried noticing empty storefronts. Having a seasonal, chain store such as Rita’s Water Ice occupying the site of the former TLA video is not going to make us feel any more secure about the health of businesses in the Chestnut Hill/Mt. Airy area. A Rita’s in that site will only take away foot and car traffic from the Trolley Car ice cream operation and Bredenbeck’s Bakery and will stand to weaken businesses that been favorite gathering places for the Chestnut Hill and Mt. Airy communities. These are businesses that give back to the community non-profits and strengthen the spirit of community. A Rita’s will add little except for empty calories and empty promises. The Chestnut …
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
The issue will go to arbitration.
A Mt. Airy business owner will likely have a say in whether a new Rita's Water Ice location will come to Chestnut Hill Plaza sometime in the next few months. This question of whether the Rita's would move in was discussed at several Chestnut Hill Community Association (CHCA) meetings in November and December. At the heart of the issue: Whether Rita's can be defined as fast food. A restrictive covenant that details acceptable uses for storefronts in Chestnut Hill Plaza stipulates that it can't be served at the location. The CHCA previously voted that Rita’s was acceptable under the covenant. But Trolley Car Diner owner Ken Weinstein is challenging that decision. Weinstein, whose diner also has an ice cream and water-ice stand, has agreed to…
Monday, February 6, 2012
Rita's Water Ice is being challenged at the Chestnut Hill Plaza location.
Is Rita’s Water Ice fast food? This question, discussed at several Chestnut Hill Community Association meetings in November and December, is back on the table. A restrictive covenant that details acceptable uses for storefronts in Chestnut Hill Plaza rules out fast food for the location. While the CHCA voted that Rita’s was acceptable under the covenant, one neighbor is challenging that decision, and it could mean no Rita’s. Ken Weinstein, owner of the Trolley Car Diner, is looking to an arbitrator to answer the question. The diner also has a stand serving ice cream and water ice. Weinstein and John Thain, would-be owner of the once and future Rita’s, have agreed to binding arbitration on the matter. But the discussions, according to Thain…