The recently approved Modwash Carwash for the Bruster’s Ice Cream property in Washington Twp is not happening, according to signs from ownership hanging in the ice cream store’s windows!
The letter to customers goes on to say the current owners will not be operating the combo ice cream and hot dog stand next season in 2023. But it’s intended to remain a Bruster’s for 2023, they just need new franchise operators/owners for the location!
I visited Bruster’s today but the owner was not in. I left my card and asked the awesome employee who was there to give to him… in hopes they contact 42Freeway.
The letter to customers states the last day for the 2022 season is October 30th, 2022.
While I don’t know the exact reason for the owners not wanting to continue operating the business, I found this article on one of the ownership brothers Steve Henry, which gives some clues.
He’s been managing finances, paying the bills, and sometimes going down and looking at the place since 2006. At first, he thought it would be a short, summertime venture, but was quickly proved wrong when owning the shop became a second full-time job.The Knight Crier (North Penn High School). January 17, 2022
Bruster’s to Modwash and back to Bruster’s
If you haven’t been following along, on Greentree Road in Washington Twp is a combo Bruster’s Ice Cream and Nathan’s Hot Dogs location.
After many years of operating, the owners were planning to sell the property to Modwash who were intending on tearing down the Bruster’s building and developing a carwash at the site.
On August 30th we reported that they proposal was going to Planning Board in September,
This news surprised many in the local community, who would prefer the beloved ice cream store over another Modwash location. Washington Township has a recently opened Modwash less than 2 miles away.
Back to the Bruster’s on Greentree Rd, on October 12th 42Freeway reported that the Modwash proposal was approved. I stopped at the ice cream shop and was told that 2022 was their last season… and next year a new car wash would be in its place.
PUBLIC NOTICE NOTICE OF DECISION Please take notice that the Washington Township Planning Board (“Board”) has granted an application for development filed by Hutton 21 ST, LLC (“Applicant”) regarding real property with a street address of 305 Greentree Road, and designated as Block 54, Lot 6 on the current municipal tax map. The property was formerly occupied by Bruster’s Real Ice Cream restaurant. The Board granted preliminary and final major site plan approval to permit the demolition of the existing improvements and the construction of a 4,104-sf Modwash express car wash on the property.Washington Twp Planning Board Approval for a Modwash at Bruster’s on September 6th, 2022
Well another surprise hit today, as the ownership put signs on the customer service windows saying the plans fell through due to a zoning issue. The owners state they will not be operating the restaurant in 2023 and it is for sale!
The text of the Bruster’s Washington Twp sign is below:
Our deal with MOD car wash has fallen
through due to a zoning issue.
However, Henry Bros. will NOT be operating
at this site after October 30, 2022.
IF any entrepreneur has interest in buying this
franchise and continuing to operate a
Bruster’s Real Ice Cream at this location they
should go to Brusters.com
Look for the FRANCHISING link and then fill
out the information,
Planning Approved, But Not Zoning?
As mentioned I left a card for the ownership to chat, but that was just an hour ago so I don’t expect to hear from them for a bit (if at all).
This really is an interesting twist of events.
One thing that jumps out to me is they got the Planning approval, but afterwards they stumbled into a zoning issue.
Which seems backwards.
I’ve sat in a lot of Planning and Zoning meetings, and it seems to me that developers go to zoning first (if needed) and THEN go to Planning.
I think typically an application is submitted to the town construction office who reviews the application. As part of that process several departments review it.
One of the first steps is the Zoning official who determines if the proposed project matches the zoning for the property. This simply means “You want to build a commercial business at the location, and does the town’s definition of what can be built at the property match?”
If the proposed project does match the defined zoning for the property, it can move on to the Planning Board.
The reason it is done in this order is, why would a developer jump ahead to Planning approval (which has a lot of costs in time and money) only to later find out the zoning isn’t a match.
So in the case for the proposed Modwash car wash at the Bruster’s property… it’s doesnt make the clearest sense as to why a zoning issue would crop up AFTER the planning board approval.
I absolutely expect there is a reasonable answer is out there… just tough on a Saturday to get answers and I would think the Bruster’s Franchise ownership have the details if they call.
For now you have about 8 days to get a delicious Bruster’s Ice Cream or Nathan’s Hot Dog before the shut down for the season after October 30th, 2022.
And if you are interested in owning this Bruster’s/Nathan’s location… follow the directions on the sign and reach out to Bruster’s Franchising!
Links and Locations
Bruster’s and Nathan’s Washington Township – Still Open!
305 Greentree Road