What's the 'Hoopla' on Upper Front Street?

By Kelly McCarthy

July 5, 2013 Updated Jul 5, 2013 at 10:26 PM EDT

Town of Chenango, NY (WBNG Binghamton) New life is coming to a plaza on Upper Front Street in Binghamton. Local franchise owners are working on bringing another Moe's Southwest Grill to the area, as well as an original creation.

Scott Searles and his two business partners have been driving up and down Upper Front Street for years, looking for just the right spot to open a new store.

"We're always looking," Searles said. "If it's not me it's Larry (Wilson) and we're always looking for a spot. We're on the phone saying 'Hey, did you see this is open?'"

This year, they finally found a winner: 1257 Upper Front Street is on it's way to becoming home to two new restaurants.

"The other day we had torn off the building," Searles said, "We tore off the sidewalks, I mean, there's guys on the roof doing air conditioning and different systems, you know it's a huge group effort that's going on right now to get these places open."

The partners are working non-stop to get ready for the July 25 grand opening.

"My partner Larry's here day and night," Searles said. "I think he's got a sleeping bag in the back."

Scott Searles and Larry Wilson are from the Endwell area and this will be their eighth Moe's to open. They also own the Moe's on the Vestal Parkway.

The storefront on Upper Front Street will neighbor a new creation. It's a frozen yogurt shop called Hoopla's.

"It's our own baby from the ground up," Searles said. "From every single piece of tile, to the toppings, to the lighting."

Pairing an original idea with a well-known franchise came naturally to the local business owners.

"It almost became like a no-brainer," Searles said. "We have cookies at Moe's, but we don't have a dessert. Now you can get a burrito, shoot next door and get a nice yogurt."

Even the name "Hoopla!" comes with it's own logic.

"It just came up," Searles said. "It was one of those things where we kind of went, hey yea, I like that, that's fun, what's all the hoopla about?"

Along with the new store the partners are starting a fundraising organization for community events called "Hoopla! Helps."

Their first fundraiser is July 24 and will benefit the Chenango Valley and Chenango Forks football teams.

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