HOLLIDAYSBURG - The new owner of The U.S. Hotel Tavern hopes to have his new business venture open by late summer.
Liberty Hall Properties, spearheaded by local building contractor Don Delozier, recently completed the purchase of the former 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.
The business also recently received approval of a liquor license, Delozier said.
Remodeling work is underway on the first floor, which will house the bar, restaurant and banquet hall.
"We have to do some minor remodeling and refurbish the kitchen with new equipment. It is mainly cosmetic things and decorating," Delozier said.
Kerrie Kinzle of Finds Furniture Consignment, Hollidaysburg, and intern Anne Keating, a student at Rhode Island School of Design, are working with Delozier.
"We will transform this into a beautiful hall and venue. We have an idea how to decorate the entire venue using found objects and antiques," Kinzle said. "Our goal is to decorate the rooms with the feel of the era, but we want to put our spin on it and make it fun and fresh."
Kinzle is excited about the project.
"So many people were saddened when this closed. This is an icon in our area, something people in Hollidaysburg are proud of. The whole idea is to make it something it wasn't. Don will give it that chance. I am really excited to help him. This is what Anne and I love to do. We are 100 percent behind his ideas," Kinzle said.
The U.S. Hotel Tavern will offer craft beers and a bar menu and will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week and will offer takeout and catering service, as well.
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.
"It will be more casual rather than fine dining. It will be a casual gathering place with upscale tavern fare," Kinzle said.
Liberty Hall, the banquet hall, will be available to rent for parties, receptions and other events.
Down the road, Delozier hopes to renovate the second and third floors of the building. Both floors have six rooms and two bathrooms.
"Our ultimate goal is to make it into a bed and breakfast and have a bridal suite so a bridal party can stay here," Delozier said.
"The new owners have a very clear vision of what it takes to make it work in our area," Kinzle said.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.