The new owner of Hank & Tom's Chatter Box Bar said he will put a fresh coat of paint on the interior and spruce up things a bit, but wants to maintain the heritage of the south Columbus tavern.

"I have a lot of work to do," said Ron Dezalovski, who recently purchased the pub from Tom Snow.

Dezalovski said he plans to quickly get things in order and wants to reopen the space in the next couple of weeks.

The music bar at 554 E. Whittier St., just east of Parsons Avenue, seats 22 and has capacity for 40.

Dezalovski said he purchased the property, which has been a bar since 1937 and the Chatter Box since the 1940s, because he likes the energy of the Parsons Avenue corridor.

"First of all, I would like to see the location improve in Columbus, Ohio, which is good," he said.

He said he will restore the sign out front but could eliminate Hank & Tom's from it. Dezalovski said he also hasn't decided whether to add beers on tap. Currently there are none.

The Chatter Box has no kitchen, but a small selection of items will be cooked in a microwave oven, a small pizza oven and a crockpot, he said.

Dezalovski said he also will rehab a second-floor apartment and refurbish a house adjacent to the east. The house was part of the Chatter Box real estate deal.

"We'll remain residential" in those spaces, he said. "We just have to get organized."

He said he hopes to have at least one open-microphone night on the tavern's small stage.

Bars covering windows that are lighted by neon beer signs, will be removed, signaling a new era.

"Everybody's welcome," Dezalovski said. "It's going to be friendly.

"Everyone will have a good time. That's what's important."

Brian Higgins, executive director of the Parsons Avenue Redevelopment Corp., said renovation of the Chatter Box, even if it's a small project, is another good sign in the redevelopment along the commercial corridor.

"I know some people don't like to think about bars being part of a community's economic-development strategy, but if they are run well, they can be a positive," Higgins said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary