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EL awaits bank rebirth as downtown restaurant

EAST LIVERPOOL — Analysis show that one of every four restaurants fail in their business, and that isn’t when opening their doors amidst a pandemic.

The masterminds behind Renovatio’s Taproom and Restaurant are determined not to become just another statistic.

Although it has been a slower journey than Craig Cozza and Randy Schneider anticipated, both men hope to open the doors of their new downtown restaurant by Christmas.

Just as the coronavirus was gaining momentum (and notoriety) in the states, work had began on Renovatio’s, which was the former Potters Bank and Trust at the corner of Washington and Fifth streets.

Renovatio’s, which will be a combination family friendly restaurant and taproom, seeks to embrace the East Liverpool area’s rich history as well as create one of its own with the area’s largest craft beer and wine lists, explained Schneider, who will serve as the establishment’s general manager.

In a year, which seems to be full of struggles – natural disasters, the virus and disputed elections, residents do seem to be excited to see the finished Renovatio’s.

While there will be a huge focus on rare brews, eclectic wines and top shelf liquors, Schneider also explained that a family (and dog) friendly atmosphere also will abound – not like the majority of ritzy dining establishments.

Chef Devon Michael, formerly of the Courthouse Inn and Restaurant in Lisbon, has crafted a diverse and exquisite menu of favorites ranging from $6.99 for an appetizer to $22.99 for an entree.

Featuring a wood fired pizza oven, unique pies like a classic Margherita, will find themselves on the menu along with burgers, pasta, hometown favorites, seafood and even vegan and gluten-free options.

There also will be a Sunday brunch menu for diners to enjoy after attending church in the morning at affordable prices. “(This facility) was born from (a vision) togetherness and a desire to provide a warm hangout space,” explained Schneider.

Plans for a rooftop deck have materialized on top of the former Potters bank drive-thru, and both Schneider and Cozza, who hails from Pittsburgh, already are conceiving future projects to forward their plans to rebrand the area for the athletically inclined.

“We had started this in November 2019 when the coronavirus in China was just a blip on the news, then it hit here,” Schneider, who is the establishment’s operations director, said, adding that he and Cozza are confident that their diners will find that it was worth the wait.

They anticipate that the final touches, which include a fire suppression system due to the wood fired pizza oven in the front of house, will be put on the restaurant over the next few weeks.

Schneider said that he is excited for the big reveal, which will include a celebration with the city’s chamber of commerce on a yet-to-be-determined date and time.

Hopefully, pandemic directives make it possible to end the year 2020 on a high note for the project.

The phone number to reach Renovatio’s Taproom and Restaurant, which is located at 200 E. Fifth Street in downtown East Liverpool, is 330-932-0568.

Their hours will be Tuesdays through Thursdays 11 a.m. through 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The establishment is closed on Mondays.

One can follow their progress on their Facebook page, keyword renovationtaproom.

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