The city’s Design Review Committee on Tuesday approved exterior improvements to two downtown properties — a tap room and a new bar and eatery. Both are expected to open in coming weeks.
Committee members heard from Christian Rinehart, who owns O’Donolds Irish Pub at 122 W. Federal St., about upgrades to the exterior of the former Old Precinct bar at 32 N. Phelps St. Rinehart is in the midst of a nearly $500,000 renovation for Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts, a gourmet hot-dog shop to open in mid-December.
Rinehart also is working on a brewery next door for beers that will be served at Suzie’s and nearby at O’Donolds. He said it could eventually serve as an incubator for those starting in the brewery business who want to lease space and equipment there. Committee members approved plans to install sliding glass doors that will open in the summer and look similar to pane windows when they’re shut. Suzie’s will source all its food and ingredients locally. Rinehart also plans to keep the restaurant open until 4 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights to serve bar-goers after hours.
Across the street at 112 W. Commerce St., Rust Belt Brewing Co. will open a tap room at the southwest corner of Erie Terminal Place where customers can drink draught beers, purchase six packs and other merchandise. Ken Blair, co-owner of Rust Belt, said the tap room is set to open within weeks, but added that inspections and some contruction work remains to be done.
He said total investment will be about $100,000, and the committee approved minor changes to the exterior and signage there. Rust Belt is talking with food trucks and area restaurants about some limited dining options, and it’s still working out its hours of operation. Blair said the tap room also will carry regional wines and cider from Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Rust Belt’s brewery is just down the street at the former B&O train station on Mahoning Avenue.
The committee also approved a $50,129 exterior improvement to the Mahoning Plaza Shopping Center at 3309 Mahoning Ave. Management there has plans to replace exterior glass, fix light poles and replace fixtures, conduct some landscaping and clean up an area that will provide better access to the plaza via Meridian Road.