Chesterton Tribune


'Chicago style' wine bar eyed for Downtown

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The “riverfront area” designation approved by the Chesterton Town Council in 2009—which allows a municipality to circumvent population quotas on liquor licenses—may soon bear new fruit.

At the council’s meeting Monday night, Town Manager Bernie Doyle said that he’s currently in discussions with a “really smart Chicago restaurateur” interested in locating a “Chicago-style wine bar” in an undisclosed storefront in the Downtown.

It would be a fine-dining establishment, Doyle said, with U-shaped booths along one wall and the bar on the other opening onto a view of the grill.

“Guarded optimism right now but I think it’s going to go through,” Doyle said. “If it does, that would really be neat.”

So far, two liquor-licensed restaurants have opened in the Downtown under the aegis of the riverfront designation: the Octave Grill at 137 S. Calumet Road and Villanova Pizzeria & Bistro at 213 Broadway.

The riverfront area in the Downtown extends 3,000 feet from either bank of the 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 granted under the riverfront designation are made available only to restaurants and only in the Downtown.

Park Restroom

In other business, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell reported that he will be meeting in the second week of January with architecture firm Gerometta & Kinel to discuss the design of a proposed public restroom facility in Thomas Centennial Park. Within a week after that meeting, O’Dell said, the firm should be submitting a proposal for services.

“Is it possible for the restroom to break ground in time for the summer,” asked Member Jeff Trout, R-2nd.

O’Dell said that that’s the plan: a spring bid, a summer build.

The restroom’s design should be fairly straightforward, O’Dell added, since the plans will be based on a facility already built by the City of Hobart and modified slightly to Park Superintendent Bruce Mathias’ specifications.

Christmas Wishes

While on the subject of Thomas Park, Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg—who knows a little something about exterior illumination—took a moment to pass on his compliments to the Parks and Recreation Department. “The Downtown looks very nice this year,” he said.

Members Jim Ton, R-1st, and Sharon Darnell, D-4th, both wished everyone a wonderful Christmas. “A safe and peaceful holiday,” Darnell said.

Posted 12/18/2012