McCANDLESS (KDKA) — The old North Park boathouse, which sat virtually idle for more than 30 years, has been re-born as a restaurant.
A large crowd turned out Tuesday for the official opening of the Over the Bar Bicycle Café in North Park.
Co-owner Michael Kotyk and his partners spent three years and a half million dollars renovating the building.
“The boathouse basically was full of canoes, kayaks and birds when we took it over,” Kotyk says. “And we’ve turned it into a restaurant.”
Decorated in the manner of his OTB Bicycle Cafe on the South Side, Kotyk’s second restaurant will pay yearly rent to Allegheny County.
“The taxpayers didn’t have to put any money into this,” says County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “We’re able to get some new revenue for the taxpayers, and fix up a beautiful part of our park that had been underutilized and under-appreciated.”
It’s not just cycling, but recycling.
“We have a friend who works at Seven Springs Mountain Bikes Park,” says the owner, gesturing toward a metal lamp. “When the bikes get damaged, he brings the frames back and cuts them down and made these lights out of them for me.”
The restaurant includes a lot of healthy vegetarian options, like the black bean burger. But realizing that bicyclists need their protein, the peanut butter burger should do the trick.
Noticing the crowd that has already found the restaurant, Fitzgerald says, “I just hope that if I come out here with my family that I can get a table.”