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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Phantom Fireworks has been looking to build a brick-and-mortar store in the Pittsburgh area, and now they have a location.
With creative names like Phantom Blue, Smiling Face, and Double Take the kinds of fireworks that really go boom were once a quest of an across the border drive.
“We go to Ohio and I pick them up there,” says Hans Zolet of Cranberry.
That is until the legislature changed the state law in Pennsylvania and allowed the sales of all consumer grade fireworks. Or as most folks say “the good stuff.”
With that change Phantom Fireworks of Boardman, Ohio started looking for locations to open up shop in the Pittsburgh region.
This week Ross Township Commissioners approved Phantom opening a shop in the old TJ’s Buffet next to Best Buy in the North Hills Village Shopping Center.
“It’s always good to have a new business in the township to help expand our tax base,” says Stephen Korbel the President of the Ross Township Commission. Korbel says the only issue raised during the approval process was the proximity to the BP Gas Station on McKnight Road. “The regulations say it has to be 250 feet away and this is 300 feet away so we’re okay on that front.”
So the commissioners gave Phantom the green light prompting Zolet to respond, “I think it’s a good idea. Why spend money in Ohio when we can spend it here.”
Meanwhile Michele Harper who lives and works in Ross Township says, “Why not? Everything else is on McKnight Road, it could be another mattress store.”
The recently closed restaurant must be completely overhauled with special ventilation and fire suppression systems. Once finished it will be open year round with up to 80 people working in the store during the peak season.
Korbel says, “They are working around the clock to have the store open ahead of Fourth of July. But to the extend there are any delays they are preparing to have tents in the parking lot to sell fireworks no matter what.”
Phantom is looking for at least two other locations in the Pittsburgh area but there’s no word on where or when those stores will open.