North Park Boathouse is home to OTB Bicycle Café, a new casual restaurant
The North Park Boathouse in Allegheny County's 3,000-acre park now is home to a cafe.
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and partners of OTB Bicycle Café at the Boathouse on Tuesday celebrated the opening of the restaurant in North Park. The boathouse, on Pearce Mill Run Road in McCandless, was remodeled to be a home for casual dining.
OTB owner Mike Kotyk, 39, of Baldwin, a “fan of historic preservation and an outdoor enthusiast,” said he was pleased to transform the boathouse built in 1936 into a destination for lunch or dinner.
Kotyk's first OTB restaurant is on East Carson Street in the South Side.
The menu features sandwiches, salads, burgers and craft beer — either at high-top tables or booths inside or on the patio, where patrons can watch kayakers or geese.
Kotyk took his idea to renovate the structure to county officials in 2011.
Since last year, he and his partners cleaned out “canoes, kayaks and birds” to remodel the building.
County officials authorized a five-year lease in November with the café operators for an initial annual rent of $36,000 that will rise to $60,000 in the fifth year. The café invested about $550,000 in the project to date, of which more than $300,000 was in building improvements, county officials said.
“This is an exciting public/private partnership,” Fitzgerald said. “We're partners in something good, and it didn't cost the taxpayers a thing.”
The café's opening follows other recent improvements at North Park. A project to dredge the lake was completed in 2011. This year, a zip line was added to the mix of outdoor amenities.
Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6353 or firstname.lastname@example.org.