He said the January fire started “in an electrical junction box in an obscure area we were not aware of.”

The building destroyed by that fire originally was a 19th-century stagecoach stop between Allentown and Reading. Before becoming Youell’s, it was a restaurant under several previous names, including Hemerly’s, the Ivanhoe, Sirloin Pub and Florentine Inn.

The original Youell’s Oyster House was established in Easton in 1938.

Noto, who worked in the Allentown restaurant as a bartender before it was Youell’s, said: “We seated 80 people, no more. And that was elbow-to-elbow.” He said there were 12 seats at the bar, but no dining at the bar.

“Do you know of any restaurant that seats 80 patrons that don’t have parking places?’ asked Noto. “And now we’re going to double it, to 170, with no parking.”

Also during Monday’s meeting, zoners approved a request by Kenneth Bennett of Catasauqua to open a clothing store serving the neighborhood at 301 N. 9th St.