Last updated: June 06. 2014 3:58PM - 1678 Views
By - jandes@timesleader.com

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WILKES-BARRE — Exeter resident Tina Mantione has been recommended as the new operator of the Luzerne County Courthouse cafeteria.

The administration received two proposals to handle the work and selected Mantione.

County council committee members will discuss the proposal at Tuesday’s 5:30 p.m. meeting at the courthouse, with the full council voting at a later date.

Citing declining sales, United Rehabilitation Services (URS) stopped operating the cafeteria on April 4 after many years. The nonprofit agency ended up announcing plans to close in June due to government funding cutbacks.

County officials were hoping to attract a cafeteria operator that would generate revenue for the county and provide a fresh menu.

According to Mantione’s proposal:

Mantione has studied business management at The Pennsylvania State University and owned and operated Antonio’s pizza in Avoca with her father when she was a young adult. She later opened her own restaurant, Bari Pizza, which she sold after several years.

The menu would include a coffee bar, bagels, baked goods, fresh fruit and a variety of soups and made-to-order sandwiches in addition to snacks.

Mantione also would provide lottery sales through the state and sell local and national newspapers.

She estimates she must spend about $70,000 in renovations to modernize the space.

She is seeking a 5-year lease with the option of two additional 5-year renewals.

Mantione would start paying the county $500 per month when she opens the restaurant/cafe sometime before Nov. 1. The monthly rent would increase to $525 on July 1, 2017.

The eatery, tentatively called Tina’s Court Cafe in the documents, would provide free wireless internet at Mantione’s expense and reduced-cost meals to county residents on jury duty.

The operator must provide all workers, materials, equipment, insurance and health permits. Signs related to the business must be approved by the county before they are posted.

Mantione can open the eatery from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and cannot operate the business on weekends and holidays when the courthouse is closed.

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