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It took less than five minutes of testimony to persuade York City Council to approve a liquor license for a bistro moving into the city's Continental Square.

Calogero Elia, managing partner for Iron Horse York, testified at a special session before the council's normal 7 p.m. meeting on Tuesday. His goal was to get the council's blessing to transfer a liquor license his restaurant had bought from a Shrewsbury organization.

He simply asked council if the members had any questions. Councilman Henry Nixon asked a few basic ones about plans for the restaurant at One MarketWay West, and then the council was satisfied.

Council president Carol Hill-Evans adjourned the session by 6:05 p.m.

"That was probably the shortest meeting on record," she said dryly when she tapped the gavel.

During council's legislative session an hour later, the members voted unanimously with no discussion to approve the transfer of the license that will allow the bistro to sell alcohol for consumption on its premises.

The Iron Horse is expected to open in mid-July or August, The York Dispatch has reported.

The restaurant will seat 98 inside, and it will include an outdoor seating area in that northwest corner of the square that will accommodate 35 to 42 diners, Elia said. Smoking likely will be allowed outside, he added.

Elia said the restaurant will be open from about 10 a.m. until 10:30 or 11:30 p.m. every day, and will serve lunch and dinner. The lunch menu will be mostly of the sandwich-and-salad variety, while the dinner menus will include much more, from conventional American bistro food to venison and octopus.

Elia also owns the Cafe Fresco Paxton in Harrisburg.

The approximately 100,000-square-foot One MarketWay West building the restaurant will soon occupy is being transformed into 78,000 square feet of rentable space and a 23,000-square-foot parking garage.

The rentable space will have 15 commercial units and 50 residential units. Phase 1, which holds 15 residential units, was completed in March, and all units are occupied.

Phase 2, which will include 23 residential units, is scheduled to be completed this summer, and more than half of the units are already reserved. The final 12 residential units will be completed next spring, Will has said.

— Reach Sean Cotter at scotter@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @SPCotterYD.

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