German based grocer eyes crowded corridor of Mahoning Avenue - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Pink Elephant bar would be torn down

German based grocer eyes crowded corridor of Mahoning Avenue

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A German grocery store chain wants to build a store in Austintown but some people think it could be too many supermarkets in one spot and they are concerned about the future of an iconic bar.

A direct competitor to Aldi is looking into setting up shop on the same street in Austintown.
Cody McCormick of Austintown said "personally in my opinion it's going to be too many."

The German supermarket chain Lidl has plans to build on Mahoning Avenue at the corner of Wilcox Road where the Pink Elephant bar stands.

Sherry McNeal of Austintown said "I don't know it seems like an awful lot of the same businesses like joined together."

Giant Eagle is a little more than a mile east, Aldi and Walmart are less than half a mile away.

A Meijer is going in at the former Austintown Middle School and another grocery store chain has purchased land that abuts Russell Avenue. The company has not approached the township about its plans for the property.

A zoning change request is the next step for Lidl but many are wondering what will happen to the bar that has been there for nearly 50 years.

Jim Adler, a managing partner, said that the future is unclear right now but he is hopeful that the bar can be relocated.

Fred and Sherry McNeal live nearby and have already seen another local bar on this strip close.

"This bar's been here forever. It's a nice place and it's sad to see them go," Sherry McNeal said.

After hearing the news, Christy Grope and her family made a special trip to the establishment on Wednesday. She wanted to see the local landmark that her parents and husband have talked about.

"If it's just another grocery store that comes in, I'm not sure that this area can support it and I'd like to see this place stay. If it's something the community needs, then I guess it depends on what the owners are willing to do," Grope commented.

Darren Crivelli, Austintown Township's zoning inspector, said that retailers sometimes attract each other. He noted a similar situation when Tractor Supply came in near Walmart and Home Depot.

Crivelli does not see the zone change from residential to commercial for part of the land as an issue since this is already a commercial strip. The request still has to go through the process.

The Mahoning County Planning Commission will meet April 25 at 1 p.m. at 50 Westchester Drive, Austintown. 

Their recommendation will be passed on to the Austintown Township Zoning Commission which will meet April 27 at 6 p.m. at the Township Building, 82 Ohltown Road, Austintown.  

Lastly, trustees will schedule a hearing for final determination, possibly by the middle or end of May.

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