QUAKERTOWN, Pa. | Originally slated to open in June, the Trolley Barn is just one week away from opening its doors to the public, bringing $5 million in new investment to downtown Quakertown.
"Two weeks ago I wouldn't think we'd be open, but things have really come together at the end here," said Chris LaBonge.
LaBonge and Ian Jeffery are the owners. A lot is riding on the project for the community, as it's expected to be a central piece to the revitalization of downtown Quakertown.
"We live here, our kids play sports here, Chris is a teacher here," Jeffery said.
The pandemic made the wait even longer, pushing the opening from June to November and the budget north of $5 million.
"It really is difficult to get everybody on the same page, especially when you're talking about 13 to 17 different vendors in the same spot," Jeffery added. "But on the flip side, it's taught everybody a ton."
Amazingly, even in this economy, all 14 spots are leased.
"We have food, we have a little bit of retail, we have a number of places where you can, you know, sit and get drinks," said LaBonge.
Andy Warner, the owner of Black River Farms Winery in Lower Saucon Township, was the first to sign a lease.
"Really, it was an easy decision," he said. "Even though we've had these later delays it's been actually sort of good because we just finished a really wonderful harvest season."
But they say, as with most things these days, it might take a little while for it to fully catch on.
"In two, three, six months it's really gonna be something special," Jeffery said. "We're excited for Quakertown. We're excited for Upper Bucks County and we're excited to see where it goes from there."