Success Story: Main Street Grill

The Main Street Grill, 127 E. Main St. Lock Haven, owned by Christopher Darwin, opened in 2016 in the once vacant business that was formally Checkers Pizza Plus. This American Style restaurant serves everything from seafood and steak, to pizza and subs, in addition to a vast cocktail and beer menu. Mr. Darwin is not new to the restaurant business, as he has a long history in the restaurant industry including also being part owner in another restaurant, The Riverside Saloon, which is located at 309 N. Grove St. in Lock Haven.

Mr. Darwin opened his business Main Street Grill in downtown Lock Haven in 2016 thanks to a partnership with the Lock Haven University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), SEDA-Council of Governments’ Business Finance Department, Lock Haven, and Clinton County. The Lock Haven SBDC and SEDA-COG are Central Region Partners for Regional Economic Performance (PREP) partners. The initial assistance that was needed was refining a business plan, which took place in the fall of 2015 by the Lock Haven SBDC. This business plan included the development of financial projects and loan packages to help him get local low-interest loans. Although the business was opening in a vacant restaurant, a lot of upgrades were needed to not only update the kitchen, but also the electrical and HVAC systems. Upon reviewing the borrower’s business plan, SEDA-COG’s Business Finance Department recognized a place in the financing package for the Clinton County Revolving Loan Fund; the original package included Clinton County’s Enterprise Zone Loan Fund and the Lock Haven Commercial Loan Program. In essence, SEDA-COG restructured the financing package to suit the borrower’s needs. This was helpful to the borrower because he was able to secure more financing at a much lower interest rate with no prepayment penalty. SEDA-COG’s Business Finance staff also did the collateral structure, and ensured the loan was secured in a manner that met the overall satisfaction of the approving bodies for the Revolving Loan Fund loans.

The Main Street Grill & Bar held a ribbon cutting on July 26, 2016. As a result of the PREP partnership, a location was filled in downtown Lock Haven that had been vacant for several years. The establishment is anticipated to create up to nine full-time and 15 part-time jobs.