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Mela Kitchen at Jack’s Hard Cider raises the curtain in Gettysburg

Mela Kitchen at Jack’s Hard Cider opened for business last weekend in Gettysburg.

The exclamation point on Donald Hoffman’s purchase of Jack’s Hard Cider and Hauser Estate Winery served its first customers Aug. 7, bringing to life what for years was a multiplex cinema at 1865 Gettysburg Village Drive, near the Outlet Shoppes at Gettysburg.

It’s open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Mela Kitchen will be closed Tuesdays.

Originally it was scheduled to open in the spring, but COVID-19 led to a delay in the building’s renovation.

Describing what it calls a clean, fresh and rustic approach to food, the menu consists of brick-oven pizzas, Italian-inspired small plates and family-style offerings. Per its Facebook page, “Our mission is to offer a thoughtful, comforting menu in a social atmosphere.”

Hoffman is the president and CEO of EXCEL Services Corporation in Rockville, Maryland, which provides specialized professional nuclear engineering services to nuclear owners and operations in the United States and abroad. He said in an interview in late June that in addition to the food, 24 taps will be positioned on either side of a 70-foot bar, offering the full line of Jack’s Hard Cider in addition to what he called “surprise seasonal” ciders.

It’s also serving Pennsylvania-made beers and a line of several wines under the Atomic Dog label, with grapes being sourced in-state in addition to California and Oregon.

“They will be wines like you can’t buy anywhere else,” he said.

Mela Kitchen at Jack's Hard Cider

One side of the Mela Kitchen menu. The restaurant is open every day except Tuesday.

Seating, for now, will be for around 150 people, limited by the pandemic. When those areas can fill and the rooftop dining area eventually opens, the restaurant will be able to seat around 300, he said.

The largest of the theaters was kept intact to accommodate events.

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