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North Park Boathouse is home to OTB Bicycle Café, a new casual restaurant

Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - Patrons socialize on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, at the OTB Bicycle Café at the North Park Boathouse. The café offers a full-service restaurant and bar — a first for the park. It sports a bicycle theme, just like its sister restaurant in the South Side.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>Patrons socialize on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, at the OTB Bicycle Café at the North Park Boathouse. The café offers a full-service restaurant and bar — a first for the park. It sports a bicycle theme, just like its sister restaurant in the South Side.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - Visitors to the OTB Bicycle Café check out a mosaic inside the restaurant on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. Owner Mike Kotyk spent a year cleaning out and remodeling the 1936 boathouse into a spot for casual dining.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>Visitors to the OTB Bicycle Café check out a mosaic inside the restaurant on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. Owner Mike Kotyk spent a year cleaning out and remodeling the 1936 boathouse into a spot for casual dining.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - The OTB Bicycle Café at the North Park Boathouse offers a full-service restaurant and bar — a first for the park. It sports a bicycle theme, just like its sister restaurant in the South Side.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>The OTB Bicycle Café at the North Park Boathouse offers a full-service restaurant and bar — a first for the park. It sports a bicycle theme, just like its sister restaurant in the South Side.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - OTB owner Mike Kotyk, 39, of Baldwin said on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, that he was pleased to transform the North Park Boathouse — built in 1936 — into a destination for lunch or dinner.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>OTB owner Mike Kotyk, 39, of Baldwin said on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, that he was pleased to transform the North Park Boathouse — built in 1936 — into a destination for lunch or dinner.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - Erika Kopanic of Lawrenceville finds a seat at the OTB Bicycle Café at the Boathouse on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. Kopanic, an avid mountain biker, is enthused about the opening. 'I'm glad this is here. It's beautiful scenery, and you can't beat this. To come here after a ride, you can't beat it,' she says.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>Erika Kopanic of Lawrenceville finds a seat at the OTB Bicycle Café at the Boathouse on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. Kopanic, an avid mountain biker, is enthused about the opening. 'I'm glad this is here. It's beautiful scenery, and you can't beat this. To come here after a ride, you can't beat it,' she says.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald introduces Mike Kotyk and congratulates him on the opening of his OTB Bicycle Café at the Boathouse in North Park on Tuesday, October 15, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald introduces Mike Kotyk and congratulates him on the opening of his OTB Bicycle Café at the Boathouse in North Park on Tuesday, October 15, 2013.

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Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, 4:00 p.m.
 

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 ddreeland@tribweb.com.

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