In about two weeks time, “the Nittany Lion” will mean more than an iconic statue.
With Courthouse Crepes set to open on June 3 at 101 S. Allegheny St., one of its featured dishes — a cream-cheese and blueberry concoction — will share the same name as the well-known mascot.
Plenty more, along with burgers, soups and salads, are planned for the 1,300-square-foot building, co-owners Justin Melanson and Gary Miller said. Besides crepes, coffee and baked goods, the Bellefonte eatery will also serve Meyer Dairy and soft serve ice cream. Gluten-free crepes will also be available.
“In my head since the beginning, I knew exactly what I wanted this place to look like,” Melanson said. “This is our baby.”
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The pair, both admitted fast-talkers, work with similar celerity. They bought the building, which was previously the restaurant Fischer’s on the Diamond, in April and began construction at the beginning of May.
They’ve remodeled most of the interior. Gone are the reds and silvers from past palettes, their hues replaced by blues and browns of various types of wood. Melanson, who owns his own design and construction company, used a broom to paint the wall to the left of the entrance. It took about five hours, he said.
“As soon as he got the green light, it was smiles from ear to ear,” Miller said. “He’s like a bulldozer; I’m like a Tasmanian devil.”
He and Melanson estimated it took them about 30 minutes to erect the wall that divides the eating space. Melanson designed and built the window it houses in a couple of days.
The counter, a custom-built metal-and-concrete structure, houses individually drilled fiber-optic lights that run through amethyst stones. There will be bar-style seating near the two windows bookending the entrance, and outdoor seating running along two sides of the building. Melanson estimated the restaurant will be able to seat 50 to 80 in total.
Melanson and Miller, who will manage the eatery, said Courthouse Crepes will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. They plan to offer free Wi-Fi besides a small children’s library. They said they’re also looking to host musicians and live events in the future.
They’re in the process of hiring and estimate having about 15 employees.
“We are totally rebranding this place,” Melanson said.
Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4698, @rogervanscy