A longtime Coaldale landmark is on the auction block.
Costello's restaurant, at 100 E. High St., and its equipment and supplies, will be auctioned at 9 a.m. May 28 by Arner Auctioneers. Other items, including antiques, furniture, household goods and tools, from the living quarters above the restaurant, will be auctioned at 9 a.m. May 21, according to notices on Arner's website.
The auctions will be held rain or shine. If it rains, the sale will be held indoors. Bidders are asked to bring chairs, and the terms call for cash or Pennsylvania checks. No out-of-state checks will be honored.
For more information, access the sale on Arner's website at www.arnerauctioneer.com and click on "auction ads" on the right side of the screen.
Owned by Stanley Costello Sr. and his wife, Ann, the restaurant was the spot for awards banquets, funeral dinners, wedding receptions and other celebratory dinners, as well as a popular dinner venue. Costello's was known for its seafood dishes. The Friday night seafood buffet was a popular draw.
Costello Sr. was known for his outgoing, friendly nature – and for his musical talent. Costello had learned to play the violin as a young lad, and often played for his restaurant guests' enjoyment, as well as events at Ss. Peter and Paul's Church in Lansford.
Coaldale resident Bob Ames was a longtime Costello's customer. He hopes someone will buy the restaurant to keep it open.
"We used to have a lot of our Republican dinners and gatherings there. It was always a very family-type place. It was so convenient here in town, and it had a very pleasant atmosphere. It was a neighborhood restaurant – you'd go in and you'd always see someone you knew. It's going to be missed," he said.
Costello's father, Joseph, bought the site of the restaurant in the early 1920s, intending to turn it into a bar. But he died in 1932 – a year before prohibition ended. Joseph's wife, the former Anna Harmenick, was left with seven children to support. She applied for a liquor license, and the rest is history.
Stanley Costello Sr., who had earned a Purple Heart during his service in Germany during World War II, and his wife, the former Ann Kidda, returned to Coaldale seven months after the war ended to help Costello's mother operate the bar. In 1948, Costello expanded the bar and in 1950, began the restaurant operation. The couple went on to have three children – Stanley Jr., Lillian and Marianne.
Costello's mother passed away in 1962, and Stanley and Ann continued the business, nurturing it to success.
Costello, then age 90, said in an April, 2009 interview with the TIMES NEWS that he credited Ann – and her love, devotion and fine cooking – for the restaurant's success and for his own good health.
But the restaurant closed earlier this year. Efforts to reach Costello Sr., his son, Stanley Jr. and his wife, Angela, who was the restaurant's president, stockholder, director and secretary, according to Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board records, were unsuccessful.
The restaurant was recently listed by real estate sales companies. According to the Prudential website, its asking price was $299,000. The Weichert Realty website described the restaurant as 6,900 square feet, with oil heat and central air conditioning. The website also says the building dates to 1900, with a banquet hall added in 1991.