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Corner Pocket to reopen May 20 under former owners

May 8, 2019

Chuck Norris will soon return to a popular bar in downtown Portage.

Not the actor. The specialty burger.

The city of Portage Legislative and Regulatory Committee on Monday all but gave a green light for local business owners Mark Bellmore and his daughter Kelly Bellmore to reopen the Corner Pocket.

Barring a Common Council decision to vote against the committee’s recommendation, the Bellmores will be granted a Class B combination liquor license allowing them to serve alcohol at the establishment after a three-month closure.

The Bellmore family ran the Corner Pocket for eight years before leasing the business to Kelly Vandermark in June. The business closed Feb. 9 amid disagreements between the former owners and the new operators.

Mark Bellmore said his daughter will bring the business back to life.

“She does good food and a clean atmosphere. It’ll be successful,” he said.

The Corner Pocket, located at 301 DeWitt St., is expected to reopen May 20.

So far, eight staff members have been hired as bartenders or cooks, and Mark Bellmore said he is seeking six additional employees.

Kelly Bellmore will manage the bar and grill inside a 140-year-old building her father owns.

At Monday night’s committee meeting at the Portage Municipal Building, newly elected council member Eric Shimpach attended his first subcommittee meeting as an elected official. He was unanimously voted into the role of vice chairman for the committee.

The committee unanimously supported the alcohol license to be awarded to Kelly Bellmore.

Many renovations are in the works for the downtown bar and grill, including a full redesign of the Corner Pocket logo, repairing bricks in the building’s structure and repainting the interior and exterior to fit a new black-and-gold color pattern.

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