County spent $2.9M to renovate restaurant but first tenant left in 2 years

Tuesday, 14 November 2017, 09:00:34 AM. The Cooper House opened in 2016 after the county spent $2.9 million to renovate the riverfront spot.
PENNSAUKEN -- Days after the Cooper House restaurant closed its doors on the banks of the Cooper River, the county announced Monday that the space will soon hold another "top flight" eatery. The LaScala Restaurant Group of Cherry Hill will launch a casual Italian restaurant in the county-owned space in Cooper River Park as early as December, the county said. "This will be the perfect place to enjoy a meal along the river, or to have a relaxing dinner with an incredible sunset as a backdrop," Freeholder Jeffrey Nash said of the plans. "This restaurant will quickly become Cooper River Park's destination within a destination." County officials made similar statements about the Cooper House a year and a half ago, when the restaurant had its grand opening in the building the county spent $2.9 million to renovate. The plan was to upgrade the space that formerly held the Lobster Trap to create a more upscale, family restaurant with outdoor seating and other renovations to take advantage of the view. The building, known as the Hadley House, was built as a tennis clubhouse in 1937 through President Franklin Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration. LaScala Restaurant Group will be taking over the lease from KTMK Group, which operated the Cooper House in the 6,572 square-foot building. The lease, which nets the county $5,000 a month plus a percentage of sales, has another two years on it. Kevin Meeker, owner of Keg & Kitchen in Haddon Township, was one of the partners in KTMK Group...Read more
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