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Business in works for Harbor Inn site

1/17/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

COVENTRY — Patrons soon could dock again at a longstanding Portage Lakes restaurant.

Coventry Zoning Inspector George Beckham announced at the Jan. 10 Coventry Board of Trustees meeting the township was close to having a new business open in the former Harbor Inn, 562 Portage Lakes Drive.

The restaurant closed its doors in September, surprising many patrons.

“The closing caught me off-guard,” Trustee Gary Zoldesy said last fall. “It was one of the best places around. I do not know what the issue was.”

On the restaurant’s website, owner Steve Burroughs said the closing was due to “tough economic times.”

As a result, Zoldesy asked residents to commit to shopping and dining in the township, specifically supporting the next business to locate inside the Harbor Inn.

Beckham said he could not provide the specifics concerning the re-opening of the restaurant at the meeting or if it would provide the same environment to which diners are accustomed.

However, later that day, property management company The Crest Group, which represents the owners of the property, announced the location will become On Tap Grill and Bar at the Harbor. That new operator is John Nassos, who has 30 years of experience operating four On Tap locations in Cuyahoga Falls, Stow, Bath and Medina, according to Crest Group officials. The Coventry location will be On Tap’s first one south of Interstate 76 and its first waterfront location.

The new owner plans to adopt the On Tap concept and shift toward casual adult dining, with a more affordable dining menu and a greater variety of popular draft beers, according to Crest Group officials. Cosmetic renovations, along with new fixture and equipment installations, are taking place now, with the goal of the restaurant being ready for business by April, according to Crest Group officials.

Beckham told trustees a conditional-use permit hearing would be scheduled in February or March for the Harbor Inn and nearby Hook, Line and Drinkers, 530 Portage Lakes Drive, because both establishments offer outside dining areas.

Beckham said the permits are reconsidered every two years and reissued based on comments from neighbors and the business owners.

Also during the regular meeting, the board approved a 2013 organizational resolution that addresses the township’s structures for fees, among other topics.

The resolution sets the board’s regular meetings for 2013 for 7 p.m. the second Thursday of each month, beginning in March, at the Town Hall, 68 Portage Lakes Drive.

In previous years, the board met at 7:30 p.m.

The board also approved a change order for an additional cost of about $1,240, as approved by Summit County Engineer Alan Brubaker, for the completion of the Krebs Drive Culvert Replacement Project. The total project cost was about $23,605.

The board additionally approved maintaining participation in the Summit County Intergovernmental Memorandum of Understanding for Job Creation and Retention and Tax Revenue Sharing.

In addition, the board approved raising the hourly rate for road maintenance summer help from $8 to $8.50 an hour and allowing for a raise of 50 cents for each year the employee works.

The board also approved a renewal application for the Ohio Township Association Risk Management Authority, which expires April 28. This is the township’s insurer for property and liability insurance on township buildings, vehicles and equipment, said Fiscal Officer Joni Murgatroyd.

“We have participated in this insurance and risk management program since 1992. Last year, we received a cumulative reserve fund in the amount of $7,374.26 and an MVS credit in the amount of $305, which reduced our annual premium to $65,008.74,” she explained.

At the close of the meeting, the board met in executive session to discuss International Association of Fire Fighters negotiations, with no action taken.

The board will hold a workshop to discuss the position of interim fire chief and fire department issues Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. at the Town Hall. A regular meeting will follow at 7:30 p.m., also at the Town Hall.

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