VALPARAISO | Although the guest suites over Pikk's Tavern won't open until late summer, owner Paul LoDuca figures his wife is looking forward to furnishing them with antiques.
LoDuca was at Tuesday's meeting of Valparaiso's Site Review Committee to discuss plans to convert two vacant apartment units over the downtown restaurant into two "quasi-luxury" hotel suites with seating and sleeping areas.
The front suite would look out over the Central Park Plaza.
Since the restaurant opened, the apartments have been used for storage. LoDuca said guests may be given a coupon good for a free drink at the restaurant.
The suites would be 500 to 600 square feet. Two exits from the second floor are available. Guests would check in with the manager of the restaurant to get their keys before going up to the rooms. Each suite could house up to four people.
LoDuca said his wife loves antiques and has furnished their home with them. Some of those items might end up in the new suites, and he thinks she'll enjoy shopping for the rest.
"I want to give it that old, rustic feel," he said of the suites.
He expects demolition of the interior to begin in January and the suites to be ready by July or August. The project didn't take any convincing to get the committee's support.
"We love the project," city Planning Director Tyler Kent said. "It's great to see additional investment downtown, especially for the restaurants."
The committee also reviewed plans by the Valpo Americans to build a centrally located concession stand on their baseball complex. Joe Drew, owner of Marathon Craftsmen, who will be doing the construction, said the 24-by-36-foot building will have electric service but no water
City Deputy Engineer Adam McAlpine asked Drew to see if the project could deal with some of the drainage problems that causes water from heavy rains to remain for days.