CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The former Pennsylvania National Guard Armory located in Bellefonte, will soon offer a taste of history with a first-class dining experience.
“For a destination to really arrive as a destination, as a spot to go to, it’s got to have good food and dining options,” said Fritz Smith, president and CEO of The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau.
What once held army tankers, now holds tanks ready to brew beer.
“How cool is that,” said Smith. “Talk about beneficial reuse!”
The new owners, CUZ Holdings LLC of State College, are also considering adding a distillery.
“The distillery market and the brewing market, the beer brewing market, are not overcrowded yet, they’re not saturated, so, I think there is still opportunity,” said Smith.
In front of the production building is the tasting room, formerly a horse stable.
“People love destinations like that, that are quirky,” said Smith.
The restaurant will be housed inside the armory. It’s all located at 1081 Zion Road in Bellefonte.
“I think this spreads the visitor pattern out a little bit,” said Smith. “Most of the activity in the last few years has been downtown and on the waterfront, but this is a great way to spread the benefit of visitation.”
Bellefonte Borough Manager Ralph Stewart said it will bring a significant number of jobs to the area as well as a fresh experience while following the historic covenant placed on the building.
“They checked all our boxes,” said Stewart. “We’re just, again, very appreciative of the owner’s vision and what they’re going to do and our partnership with them to make this a first-class destination.”
While the owner is still working through some renderings and permits, Stewart said they are moving quickly to make this a reality.