DANVILLE — The new owners of Pappas Restaurant, a longtime downtown restaurant which has been closed for six years, will open a plant-based restaurant and juice bar at the location.
Christian Force and fiancee Shannon Koch bought Pappas Restaurant, at 554 Mill St., last week from Michael Kuziak, of the Danville area, who had owned it since 1992.
The new restaurant will be known as PB&J or Plant-Based Restaurant and Juice Bar.
"It will be a sit-down restaurant and plant-based," said Force.
Force and Koch operate Altera Life Health Club, at 530 Mill St.
"PB & J will provide healthier options and fresh juices and smoothies," Force said.
Koch said they are excited about opening. "It will give our clients and the whole town in general options," she said.
"There aren't a ton of options for plant-based nutrition," Force said. "We saw an opportunity to bring something new to Danville. Plant-based eating is very up and coming and is a wave that is happening and we want to be part of it in our area."
Their cook will be Kristian Adams, who owns Shanty Secrets, which offers a bistro, demonstrations, dining and cooking classes in Mayberry Township.
Force said they are optimistic they can open before February.
He said they plan to "pretty it up" but leave some of the nostalgia of Pappas, which was known for its hot dogs. "We are trying to keep some of the Pappas history and won't completely redo it," he said. They plan to keep some of the equipment in the building and to replace other pieces.
They will replace the yellow facade with brick in the spring.
Force and Koch will be looking to hire five to 10 employees.
They will offer breakfast, lunch and food to go. Anticipated hours will be 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the building that can seat up to 45.
Force and Koch started Altera Life in Berwick, where they are both from, and then moved it to Bloomsburg before settling in Danville, at 530 Mill St., a year and a half ago. They offer nutrition consulting and personal training. Their dogs Zara and Mercedes are a big hit with clients and with others who come in to greet the dogs.
"We're loving Danville," Force said of their business, which is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
They will move Altera Life to the Danville police station, on Mill Street next to the Danville Municipal Building, probably in the summer after the new police department is built on the former playground of the Danville Elementary School. They own that building that also houses apartments.