HOLLIDAYSBURG - A local landmark should be back up and running within the next several months.
Liberty Hall Properties, spearheaded by local building contractor Don Delozier, has a sales agreement and loan commitment to purchase the U.S. Hotel Restaurant & Tavern, 401 S. Juniata St.
The business has been closed since Jan. 1, 2013, when former owner Karen Yoder signed over the deed to the property, which has been a staple in the borough since 1835, to Altoona First Savings Bank, to avoid foreclosure.
Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich
The old U.S. Hotel Restaurant & Tavern, 401 S. Juniata St., Hollidaysburg, is planned to reopen at an unknown date after a liquor license transfer and renovations are complete.
The business is planned to be renamed The U.S. Hotel Tavern, Delozier said.
Delozier is not sure when the business will be open.
He is waiting for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to approve transfer of the liquor license from the bank to him.
Delozier, who has been in the restaurant business for seven years as owner of Prime Sirloin Buffet, is excited about the new venture.
"I always patronized the U.S. Hotel and was intrigued by the place. There is a market here for a good, casual atmosphere bar and event facility," Delozier said. "I just think it is a neat place with a lot of history there. Most people in the area know about the place. It has served a lot of people over the years. We want to bring it back to the business it was at one time."
Main Street Manager Jamie Baser also is excited.
"Don is the perfect person to buy it with his background in construction and owning a restaurant. He will do what needs to be done to get it back up and running. I think it is great," Baser said. "I am confident he will do what needs to be done with the property, and it will benefit Hollidaysburg as a whole."
The building needs some renovation work, which Delozier said he can complete within three months.
"Being a local contractor, I have the knowledge to go in and remodel it in an efficient way. We will repair and update the whole facility. We want to keep the historical charm of it," Delozier said.
He said the business will be similar to the way it was previously.
"We will offer a wide selection of craft beers and a good bar menu, along with good food and service," Delozier said. "We are still working on the menu. We want to have a homemade flair to it. The market will dictate what we plan on doing. We will have interaction with customers to see what people in the area want. We plan to host a lot of events, be involved with wedding planning. We want to bring a full-service event facility here."
Delozier said he is in the process of putting together a staff. He plans to hire eight to 10 full-time employees and some part-time workers.
The U.S. Hotel Tavern will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week and will offer takeout and catering service, as well .
"I think if it is properly managed, it can be a real asset to Hollidaysburg and the surrounding communities," Delozier said.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.