The Koontz Coffee Pot once served as a restaurant on U.S. Route 30.
BEDFORD, Pa. (AP) -- It's a proposition that might make some perk up: The owners of a coffeepot-shaped luncheonette are looking for a new use for the historic structure and are turning to the public for help.
About a year-and-a-half ago, a former owner donated the 1927-era Koontz Coffee Pot to the Bedford County Fair Board. The board moved the notable building to the front entrance of its fairgrounds and spent thousands of dollars to renovate it.
But now, the board isn't sure what to do with it.
Initially, it planned to display fair memorabilia in it, but decided to change course and ask the community to help decide its use.
"We're just letting it be known that if people have suggestions, we're open to them," said board president John Holbert.
Until 2003, the Coffee Pot sat on U.S. Route 30 -- one of America's first highways, also known as the Lincoln Highway.
Bert Koontz, a local businessman, built the structure as a novelty luncheonette designed to draw customers to the service station next door.
Over the years, the building changed hands, with the one-time coffee-and-sandwich shop even serving as a bar and nightclub. Sam Lashley and his sons bought the building about 20 years ago and ran the garage next door.
They considered renovating and fixing up the Coffee Pot, but didn't and gave it to the community group.
Now, the fair board is soliciting ideas for the building, which is small and now has no running water, bathroom or heat.
Some have suggested using it for a hot dog stand, a retail shop or an art gallery.
Olga Herbert, the director of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, thinks the Coffee Pot would be a great place to sell coffee cups and coffee beans.
"I thought it would be neat to work with local artisans to create coffee mugs," Herbert said.
Regardless of its eventual use, the Coffee Pot must generate revenue so its owners can pay for its ongoing maintenance, Herbert said.