All posts tagged business

Exciting Changes Coming to Oil City Businesses

KarmaBreakfast, lunch, and dinner—all served in downtown Oil City by Shaun and Marie Alcorn at multiple businesses—and this month, some changes are coming to Karma Coffee Company and Northside Eatery, moving the Alcorns and Oil City in a positive direction.

Beginning on Monday, March 19, all lunch operations through Northside Eatery will move to Karma Coffee Company, and Northside Eatery will become retail space. “We know the community perspective will be that a business is leaving,” said the Alcorns. “But it’s actually quite the opposite; we have outgrown our space at Northside Eatery and we are expanding in order to make room for continued growth.”

Northside Eatery customers will be able to enjoy the same great lunch menu they have grown to love, plus some new options, such as fresh cut french fries. With Corey, head chef at Northside Eatery, and Jaime, manager at Karma Coffee Company, now working together, customers can expect unique and delicious lunch specials, including vegan and vegetarian options. Because lunch will be served within Karma Coffee Company, the option to order a custom-made drink or a pastry with lunch will be available, too.

The space at Karma Coffee Company will provide the opportunity for more efficiency and additional seating, and the rustic Northside Eatery tables will be relocated to the front of Karma Coffee Company. The location is just a few buildings down from where Northside Eatery sits and customers can enter through both Elm Street and Seneca Street.

“Nothing is going away,” said the Alcorns. “If anything, our offerings are getting better.”

Karma Coffee Company will continue to offer brunch on the weekend, as well as catering for events and meetings, hosted throughout the area or held in their back room. Recently, they have introduced more locally sourced items to their menus, including, pork, chicken, and eggs from Gruber Farms of Shippenville and lamb from Baytree Farm of Emlenton. This year, the Alcorns will also help host a Farm to Fork event in Titusville.

A popular concert series that began in November 2017 will continue to occur each Thursday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. at Karma Coffee Company, with local music, the option to BYOB, and food available. The arts are represented throughout Karma Coffee Company on the walls, too, in which different artwork continues to be rotated in and out monthly.

With the move of lunch from Northside Eatery to Karma Coffee Company, also comes exciting upgrades and new plans going forward. The Alcorns will begin using an updated POS system, creating even more efficiency within the business, and a website will be created for Karma Coffee Company.

image1“Instead of two separate restaurants open on different days and at different times, there will now be one open seven days a week,” said the Alcorns. “We are consolidating the spaces, but in reality we are expanding our business to offer more diversity and offerings.”

We encourage you to check out Karma Coffee Company on Facebook and stop in for lunch once their new schedule begins (see hours below). The Alcorns will also continue to serve dinner at the Yellow Dog Lantern Restaurant, located at 218 Elm Street and open from 5 to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

The Alcorns don’t plan to stop with their current businesses; they have ideas for future projects to help the Venango Area move forward.


Karma Coffee Company Schedule:

Monday – Friday
: 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Lunch served 11 to 2 – beginning 3/19; Coffee & pastries served all hours)

Thursday Evenings: 6 to 9 p.m. (Doors open at 6; Concert from 7 to 9 p.m.; Menu available all hours)

Saturday & Sunday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Brunch, coffee & pastries served all hours)

Route 8 Public Meeting

PennDOT Schedules Public Meeting to discuss the Route 8 asset management and corridor improvement

The open-house format meeting will be held Thursday, Feb. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Franklin High School auditorium at 246 Pone Lane. A presentation will begin at 6:15 p.m.

PennDOT says it is studying options to best manage and improve Route 8 in Venango County between Georgetown Road in Irwin Township and DeBence Drive in Sandycreek Township, a distance of about 10.5 miles.

PennDOT has said one of the considerations in the study is reducing the corridor from four lanes to two lanes. That proposal has met with vehement opposition the last few months from officials in Venango County and many municipalities in the county.

The Venango Area Chamber of Commerce joins local officials in urging you to attend this public meeting.

Chamber Director Susan Williams remarks “Businesses from across the region have expressed their concern to us, about the threat of a lane reduction.  Route 8 provides important access to local industry, emergency services and residents, traveling in or out of the county.  This highway additionally moves traffic to and from neighboring counties. We must urge PennDot to remove any consideration of a lane reduction”

The purpose of the meeting is to introduce the study to the community and receive input on ideas for the corridor and PennDot has invited the public to attend at any time during the open house hours.

Information on the study’s purpose status, schedule, existing and forecast roadway conditions and an initial range of ideas to consider will be available for review and comment.

PennDOT representatives, along with the department’s design consultants, will make a brief presentation and will be available to answer questions.

The meeting location is handicapped accessible.

Williams adds “This forum is an important opportunity for a unified business voice. I encourage you to let us know that you plan to attend, in support of future growth of Venango County.”

Will you attend? Let us know if your business will be represented or if you are unable to attend, but would like to share your comments, by completing this form.


Two or Four? Chamber Impact Survey

PennDOT is currently conducting an asset management study of the limited-access portion of Route 8 highway between Franklin and Barkeyville and it is expected to be completed in April 2018. This corridor is a main artery to the Venango Area.  Almost all freight to and from this region, even up to Warren, is transported along this stretch of Route 8.  The traffic study could ultimately result in a reduction of the size of Route 8 from four lanes to two.

Such a change would have a major impact on area businesses.  “As a business wanting to survive in Venango County, easy and efficient access to Interstate 80 is vital, not only to our company, but to our community as a whole,” remarked Greg Lander of Klapec Trucking Company. “This roadway is our life line to Interstate 80 and the United States. “

Industry, manufacturers, automobile sales, retailers, hardwood companies, scrap dealers, etc., all rely on this efficient access for truck traffic to move their cargo. It is also an essential connection for commuting employees that these companies rely on.

The study is being conducted by Michael Baker International and started earlier this spring.  A final report is expected by April 2018. “This expressway section of Route 8 was built in the 1970’s and has already exceeded its expected service life,” said PennDOT District 1 spokesman Jim Carroll. “It is in need of reconstruction, and a preliminary estimate is that could cost $35 million to $40 million.”

Carroll said the goal of the study isn’t to make the four-lane highway into a two-lane road, but rather to see what its needs are moving forward.

“The study is laying the groundwork for the project,” Carroll said. “The first perception was that we are doing the study to reduce it to two lanes. That is not the goal. The goal is to examine how the road best serves the region and how it serves the needs of the communities. It’s possible that the outcome could be reducing lanes, but that isn’t the purpose (of the study). The purpose is to look at the needs of the road, how it fits economic development, community aspirations and how it serves the region.”

The study will evaluate pavement and bridge conditions; analyze traffic and accident histories; develop projected traffic models; prepare cost estimates for alternatives and develop implementation and funding plans, Carroll said. The study also includes interviews with stakeholders – many of which have been completed – and opportunities for public review and comment in the coming months, Carroll said.

The Venango Chamber’s Advocacy Committee has begun reaching out to several local businesses to explore the potential impact of a lane reduction, anticipating that any consideration of this would have a negative impact on the local economy.

Representative Lee James shares, “An efficient highway infrastructure is vital to attracting new businesses, keeping existing businesses and ensuring a healthy economic future for the region. Cutting down a significant section of Route 8 from four lanes to two would do nothing but harm Venango County.”

Given that the viability of our area is directly related to access to Interstate 80, the Venango Chamber’s Advocacy Committee has begun reaching out to several local businesses to explore the potential impact of a lane reduction, anticipating that any consideration of this would have a negative impact on the local economy.

The objectives of the Advocacy Committee’s exploration are to first make certain businesses are aware of the study, and then to collect and report specific data, regarding impact of a two lane highway versus a four lane highway.

Chamber Director Susan Williams remarks, “The role of the Chamber is to be the voice of business.  We believe this is a great opportunity to better understand how our businesses use this corridor to move goods, attract and retain a regional workforce, and respond to emergency services.”

“We are developing a questionnaire, to be available in print or electronically, for businesses to respond. I am encouraged with each conversation that confirms many of our members have seen recent increases in business and anticipate this trend to continue,” she said. “We will be reaching out to our members and businesses across the region, but welcome any inquiries from those who wish to provide input.”

If you would like to take the questionnaire and inform us on how this change will affect your business or organization, please find the link at the top of this article. We also invite you to reach out to the Chamber at or (814) 676-8521.

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