Chesterton Tribune

Two restaurants eyeing the Downtown Chesterton 'riverfront'

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Two liquor-licensed restaurants have already opened in the Downtown under the aegis of the “riverfront area” designation approved by the Chesterton Town Council in September 2009: The Octave Grill at 137 S. Calumet Road and Villanova Pizzeria & Bistro at 213 Broadway.

Now two more potential restaurateurs are eyeing the riverfront area, Town Manager Bernie Doyle told the Town Council at its meeting Monday night.

One is looking to open an eatery in the old Coffee Creek Liquor store at 201 S. Calumet Road; the other, at the old Tiger Lilly at 206 S. Calumet Road.

“Both are solid prospects,” Doyle said, and both have applied to the state for liquor licenses.

Under a loophole in Indiana Code, the “riverfront area” designation allows a municipality to circumvent the population quota for liquor licenses.

The riverfront area in the Downtown extends 3,000 feet from either bank of Coffee Creek as it winds its way south to north through the Downtown. Very roughly, those limits describe a district bounded—west of Coffee Creek—by the CSX tracks to the north, West Porter Ave. to the south, and as far west as Eighth Street; and—east of Coffee Creek—by the Norfolk Southern tracks to the south, the east arm of the Little Calumet River to the north, and as far east as Roberts Road.

Liquor licenses permitted under the riverfront designation are made available to restaurants only and only in the Downtown.

Holiday Inn Express

In other business, members voted 5-0 to approve on first reading an amendment to the 1977 planned unit development ordinance governing Indian Oak Mall.

That amendment, among other things, would allow a 46-foot freestanding sign, 28 feet higher than the PUD permits; and a gross surface area of the freestanding sign of 318 square feet, 198 square feet more than the PUD permits.

Those amendments were requested by Cosmos Hospitality, developer of a Holiday Inn Express on four lots at the Indian Oak Mall at the intersection of Indian Boundary Road and Ind. 49.

The amendments were unanimously endorsed by the Advisory Plan Commission at its October meeting.

Dr. Jamil Ahmed of Chesterton, a Cosmos Hospitality principal, has said that the $6 million hotel will create 25 to 30 jobs. Occupancy is tentatively scheduled for 2013.

Members will consider the amendment on second reading at its next meeting, 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5.

In related business, members voted 5-0 to hold a public hearing at its next meeting on Cosmos Hospitality’s petition for a vacation of two easements on the property in question.



Posted 11/15/2011