Glenn Smith says the Boathouse restaurant and bar in Victoria Park is a diamond in the rough and he would like the opportunity to polish it.
The Boathouse was taken over by the the City of Kitchener a week ago after the former operator fell behind on rent and utilities payments.
"You have this beautiful diamond that just needs to be polished. I am the polisher, I'm not the guy down in the mine that found the diamond, the diamond was there," said Smith, who currently owns Ethel's Lounge in Waterloo.
Smith wants to keep the Boathouse as a live music venue and reopen it under the name Pop the Gator, after a former club he operated on Queen Street South.
He thinks the location of the venue is perfect.
"It's a beautiful building, a beautiful size, beautiful structure, beautiful- even the set-up isn't that bad, it's sitting beside a gorgeous lake in the middle of Kitchener that has just recently been completely cleaned up," said Smith.
"You're right beside the lake, you can sit there, listen to some light jazz or blues or country and western. Don't disturb the neighbours, have something light to drink, something light to eat."
The washrooms at The Boathouse are another issue - they open to both the inside of the venue and outside to the park, and have attracted undesirable attention from park users.
Smith wants to build more washrooms and he says there's a room in the back of the building that can be converted.
The City of Kitchener, which owns the Boathouse, will begin accepting proposals from interested parties early next month