SALEM - The Salem City Health Department is working with Timberlanes owner Brooke Pidgeon on food service licensing for the banquet facilities at the closed dining landmark, city Health Commissioner Richard Setty said.
Setty talked with health board members about Pidgeon's plans during Wednesday's board meeting at the Kent State University City Center, noting that he's still in the process of applying for a food license from the health department.
He explained that Pidgeon's stated intention is to become licensed for catering use of the banquet facilities and kitchen equipment, get the cash flow going and then open up the restaurant. He also wants open the bar.
"I think we have all been wondering what's happening over there," Mayor John Berlin said.
Setty said most of the equipment is still in good shape and the licensing will allow a caterer to use the equipment on site. He said the owner's also working on updating the hotel side.
Pidgeon purchased the property on Pershing Street last July. The facility was first opened in 1962 and was a popular dining attraction but has remained closed since 2009 when it was placed in receivership and was tied up in court cases. The facility housed a hotel, lounge, restaurant and banquet center.
"At some point, it may be complete as it once was," Setty said.
Greier is a reporter with the Salem News.