Romano's Italian Restaurant may have closed its doors last month, but customers will soon be able to dine on a different menu inside the Midtown Anchorage building.

Kava’s Pancake House is now leasing the space at Fireweed and C Street. Owner Robert Tofaeono says he doesn’t want to make major changes to the interior of the restaurant and will keep a lot of the Italian themed artwork on display.

"I’m always up for a challenge, and I think it’s a great thing to get into a place, as you can see, it’s well established, and turn it into almost kinda like a fine-dining pancake house, so, you know, hopefully it works." he said.

The building features a beautiful wood bar, but there are no plans to serve alcohol. Instead, he plans to make it into a coffee and ice cream bar, keeping the restaurant family-friendly.

"We're also going to be serving dinners and lunch and having that ice cream bar is like having a mini Baskin-Robins in here, and espresso is like having a Starbucks so I'm hoping the addition can make a difference," Tofaeono said.

The building has multiple rooms and sections which could be used for conferences. Tofaeono says the entire building can seat about 300 people, which is something he hopes will make a good impact on the surrounding community.

"Part of the success of a family-owned business is hiring the kids from within the community," Tofaeono said. "You know, teach them responsibility. You know, that's my goal is to try and reach out and help the youth and give them a good start.

Tofaeono says he is hoping to open the restaurant sometime this summer, possibly as early as June.

Dave Leval contributed to this story.

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