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April 2, 2014

Parking request withdrawn for Grille

TERRE HAUTE — The Old Bank Grille in Twelve Points is one step closer to opening.

While the building plans for the restaurant remain in the review process at the state level, a request for a parking variance has been withdrawn from the Terre Haute Board of Zoning Appeals.

Attorney Bill M. Olah has informed the board that the restaurant owner no longer plans to occupy the entire ground floor of the former Merchants National Bank building at the corner of Lafayette and Maple Avenue. By eliminating plans for a banquet room, the business already has sufficient parking for the 100-plus-seat restaurant.

Olah told the Tribune-Star that owner and chef Jimmy Saliju is trying to acquire additional nearby parking to develop the banquet room, but until that happens, there will be no banquet hall.

Olah offered no timetable on when approval might be received from state inspectors to open the restaurant.

The Tribune-Star wrote about the planned opening of the restaurant in fall 2013 when renovations were under way, but government paperwork has delayed the opening of the business. State officials confirmed that the required paperwork for the restaurant was filed in January, but the review process can take several weeks.

City officials have stated that only after the state issues a “construction design release” can city officials conduct a final inspection and issue a certificate of occupancy that will allow the business to open.

After operating as a bank for many decades, the building later housed a hair salon. Saliju has been working for months to convert the historic, two-story brick building into a restaurant to showcase his talent as a French-trained chef.

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