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City leaders applaud plans to turn senior center into new restaurant in downtown Claremore

By Will Dupree, Channel 2 News

FULL VIDEO CAN BE VIEWED AT KJRH.COM

CLAREMORE, Okla. – Applause is not something normally heard at a city council meeting, but cheers rang out Monday evening after Claremore city councilors approved plans for a new place to eat downtown.

Earlier this year, city leaders began accepting proposals to redevelop the Claremore Senior Citizens Center into a restaurant that would attract crowds to an area not known for its nightlife.

The committee that evaluated each proposal ultimately selected Jason Scarpa’s plan to renovate the senior center.

Scarpa opened Main Street Tavern in Broken Arrow’s burgeoning Rose District in 2011. He said he wanted to expand his business and open a second location in Claremore because of the area and its potential.

“I just thought downtown Claremore and Main Street Tavern would be a great partnership and a great match,” Scarpa said, “and the people of Claremore would really enjoy it.”

Jeri Koehler, executive director of the Claremore Industrial & Economic Development Authority, said bringing Main Street Tavern to town will help bring new life to downtown.

“It’s such a perfect fit for what we’re trying to do in Claremore,” Koehler said. “We’re trying to provide something the community doesn’t already have, and we’re trying to keep our families and our young professionals here on the weekends and weeknights for dining.”

Several city councilors asked Scarpa how long it would take before the Main Street Tavern location in Claremore would open to the public. He told them that it would take about nine months to complete a full renovation of the senior center.

When it’s complete, Scarpa said the Claremore location will have a look similar to the Broken Arrow restaurant and will also have the same menu.

The total investment will top about $1.2 million, city leaders said.