Barrel 21 Distillery and Dining, located at 2255 N. Atherton St. in State College, is set to reopen on Aug. 2 after a two-week break.
The restaurant closed on July 19, about a year after it first opened to the public. Partner Roger Garthwaite, who also co-owns Otto’s Pub and Brewery, cited personnel and menu changes as reasons for the time off.
Christopher Mohr, the executive chef at Otto’s, will assume the same role at Barrel 21, Garthwaite said. Mohr moves into the position vacated by Lisa Palermo, who has taken the executive chef job at Centre Hills Country Club.
Mohr, a Penn State graduate, worked as a sous-chef for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., before coming to Otto’s last spring.
“It’s really been a focus on listening to what our customers have been telling us over the last few months,” Garthwaite said, “in terms of things they’d like to see on the menu and things they’d like to see changed or improved.”
During the hiatus, the restaurant has been tailoring its menu prices and options based on customer feedback. Fans of the tapas-style dishes Barrel 21 served previously will still be in luck: The new menu features a swath of sundry small plates besides larger entrees.
Some additional spirits are also planned for later in the year, Garthwaite added. The main outcome from the changes, he said, will be to improve the dining experience for guests.
“It wasn’t the same experience that (guests) were having when they would visit Otto’s,” Garthwaite said. “Our goal is to make the whole experience a little easier to enjoy.”
YMCA to build in Bellefonte
A YMCA and multi-use indoor sports facility is planned for Bellefonte.
No definite construction timeline has been established. The YMCA is targeting to build the facility, located at Benner Commerce Park, in one phase, Bellefonte borough Manager Ralph Stewart said. Pace of construction, however, is contingent on funding available, he added.
Howard Long, the CEO of Centre County YMCA, met with the borough earlier in July and asked for a letter of support regarding a grant application through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Long will share updated plans for the project at a forthcoming meeting, Stewart said.
The new facility will feature a child care center, wellness center, fitness rooms and aquatics center with Olympic-sized swimming pool. According to the letter, the facility is expected to bring in sporting events besides acting as a hub for local youth sports.
“It will be set up for tournaments to come into the area,” Stewart said, “which is an economic development initiative.”
The YMCA acquired a 45-acre plot in the park in 2013.
CBICC tool helps job seekers
Finding a job can be a Sisyphean task.
With the announcement of a new online tool, the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County is helping job seekers feel more like Atlas and less like a mere mortal.
CBICC member companies will be able to post job openings to a new job and resume bank on the chamber’s website. According to a release, job seekers will be able to post resumes viewable to potential employers besides searching the database for the next step in their careers.
For all parties, the service is free.
The job and resume bank can be found at http://web.cbicc.org /jobbank.
HealthSouth Nittany Valley to begin amputee support group
HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehabilitation Hospital will start an amputee support group on Aug. 3, the hospital announced on Tuesday. The support group is scheduled from 5-6 p.m. the first Wednesday of every month at 550 W. College Ave. in Pleasant Gap.
Led by HealthSouth Nittany Valley physical therapist Mary Gorham, the group will learn about several relevant topics, including pain management, nutrition and insurance concerns.
HealthSouth Nittany Valley offers pre- and post-prosthetic rehabilitation for amputees, which are patient-specific and tailored to individual lifestyles, according to a release.
Philly Pretzel Factory begins sale of Creamery ice cream
The State College Philly Pretzel Factory, located at 373 Benner Pike in Wal-Mart, recently began selling Penn State Berkey Creamery ice cream. Jason Davis, the franchise owner, said talks began a few months ago.
Davis said the store also has plans to supply pretzels to upcoming blood drives on Penn State’s campus.
Philly Pretzel Factory closed its 124 S. Allen St. location in 2013, opening its current store about five months later.
Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4698, @rogervanscy