Canteen 900 Moving From Rutter Avenue Location
FORTY FORT — Canteen 900 owner Abby Billeck-Singh is searching for a new location for her restaurant following a rent increase. Billeck-Singh said she did not plan on leaving at the end of February but said she couldn’t afford an increase in rent from $15 a square foot to $50 a square foot after almost nine “amazing” years at 900 Rutter Ave. A mother of three, Billeck-Singh also owns Canteen Park at 181 Market St., Kingston. She employs about 30 people between the two locations and said she had bridal showers and parties booked until May. “We are absolutely planning on keeping our commitments to our customers and we are actively looking for a new location. Several people have reached out to us,” she said. “We are excited about our new location because no matter what we do, we’ll be able to better serve our customers. “Canteen isn’t defined by the walls it’s in. People know our restaurant all over the world.” The space occupied by Canteen 900 won’t be vacant for long. Connor Scalleat, who operates the Powerhouse Eatery in White Haven, plans to open The Canning House restaurant in Canteen 900’s place. “It’s going to combine healthy things like salad bowls and healthy sandwiches with all the Scalleat Hospitality classics that people expect from us,” he said. “We will morph that into a breakfast and lunch setting with staple dishes from our restaurants with different price points for the different time of day.” The Scalleat Hospitality Group, which owns the Powerhouse Eatery and Ovalon Bar & Grill in Hazleton, will be the parent owner of the new restaurant. Scalleat said The Canning House should open in early March and will initially be open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature an all-day brunch on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Future plans include live music on Friday nights offered through the Special Guest App co-founded by local entrepreneur Kris Jones. The restaurant’s name pays homage to historic landmark building that formerly was a storage place for beer bottles and a canning house before David Koral purchased it in 2001 and turned it into what he calls a “living work of art.” Koral said he had a great relationship with people at Canteen 900 and he said, “I wish them well.” He said he looks forward to working with Scalleat and praised “his energy, his experience level and his focus.” “He comes from a very strong family background and I look forward to many years of success,” Koral said. “It was not something that we had planned on or worked on. We only started over the last seven days. We put this together very quickly.” Scalleat said one of the new restaurant’s highlights is that it will be the first in the area to offer Counterpart Kombucha on tap. Natalie Lynn makes the fermented Counterpart Kombucha in Drums and her business has grown and now sold at more than 50 businesses and is distributed throughout Pennsylvania and in New Jersey and Maryland. The health benefits of kombucha are largely attributed to probiotics, she said. The Canning House also will offer other drinks trending in the wellness community such as nitro coffee, speciality coffees, juices and smoothies, Scalleat said. Future plans also include delivering food from the restaurant through Uber Eats and DoorDash, he said. Scalleat said The Canning House will continue to carry out the Scalleat Hospitality Group’s mission to serve “outstanding food in unique environments.” The Scalleat Hospitality Group’s Powerhouse Eatery is known for offering a fine dining experience in a historic atmosphere in an old power plant. The eatery is marking its 30th anniversary this year. In honor of the restaurant’s anniversary, it will close for a week in early April for a complete remodel and will reopen as “The Powerhouse,” Scalleat said. Remodeling plans include adding more booths and switching the focus to make it more modern, Scalleat said. Scalleat said he is “really looking forward to greeting all the new faces at the new establishment in Forty Fort in addition to welcoming back customers from the old Connor’s Grillroom.” “We’re really looking to provide the energy, fun and great dining experience in the building at 900 Rutter,” he said.