Possible Chipotle restaurant construction upsets Hershey residents, business owners

Written by Megan Lello | Jan 21, 2013 4:02 AM

(Hershey) -- A new proposal could place a fast food Mexican restaurant in the main stretch of downtown Hershey.

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But residents and business owners are opposing the plan, which they say would take away from the area's historic feel.

The Derry Township Zoning Hearing Board has held a hearing on the proposal, which calls for building a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant on the corner of Ridge and West Chocolate Avenues.

Phil Guarno is the owner of two long-established Hershey eateries: Fenicci's of Hershey, an Italian restaurant, and Phillip Arthur's Traditional Ice Cream Parlor. He says part of Hershey's charm is being able to visit businesses that have been around for many years. "I see grandparents tell their [grand]kids, 'Oh, this used to be a restaurant I came to with your grandmother on our first date.' I don't feel like driving my [grand]children down Chocolate Avenue when I'm a grandparent and saying, 'Oh, where the Chipotle was was a restaurant.'"

Guarno says he'd support building a Chipotle restaurant in another part of Hershey, where more fast food establishments are located.

The land is owned by the Hershey Trust and isn't zoned for a fast food restaurant, but the developer says Chipotle shouldn't be considered a typical fast-food facility.

The zoning board will take up the discussion in another hearing next month.


Published in Hershey, News

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Comments: 1

  • HersheyBorn img 2013-01-21 14:08

    The area's historic feel? Most of the history has been or is in the process of being ripped down. There were once beautiful homes along Chocolate Ave, a fieldstone post office and women's club, and the Cocoa Inn - all gone. The Chocolate Factory is going. Phil Guarno has apparently not lived in Hershey long enough to know there was a Burger King across the street from the proposed Chipotle site and the building where Chocolate Ave Grille is now - between Phillip Arthur's and the corner Chipotle is proposing was originally built to be a fast food restaurant. He may not know there was a large farm implements building across the street, and an abbatoir, and a lumber yard. Change defines Hershey. There is no rule of preservation here.

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