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LaVO: History in the remaking

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Icons of New Hope are getting a makeover

Mary Anne and I remember the “old New Hope” of the 1970s. Our frequent breakfast hangouts included Mother’s and Karla’s where owner Rolf would hoist our toddler daughter Genevieve and swirl her around the restaurant, showing her off to customers. The Canal House and Chez Odette’s were favorites for dinner or just hanging at either’s piano bar. Life was romantic in New Hope and at a slower pace.

Time waits for no one, however. Such is the case on the lower side of New Hope where history is going up, buffing up or relocating in the 297-year-old tourist village.

Recently I set off to inspect what was going on. Temperature outside 30 degrees. Icy wind hitting 10 mph on the spike of land between the Delaware River and Delaware Canal. Perfect for a brisk walk on the canal towpath to where I could view and photograph the future.

My immediate goal was to size up the River House at Odette’s, a 34-room hotel at the town’s eastern gateway on River Road. Exterior walls have gone up under four stories of scaffolding. Workers push for completion of the $35 million project this spring.

Billed as New Hope’s first luxury hotel, it targets business travelers and in-house wedding parties with seating for 200 guests. Menus will feature regional........

© The Intelligencer