Friends of the owners of Tre Bicchieri have reached an agreement to purchase and continue operating the downtown Columbus restaurant.

Chris Braun and Barb Piotrowski, both of Columbus, have formed a partnership and agreed to purchase the restaurant from the Glick and DeClue families, although no paperwork has been signed yet, Braun said.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission placed a request on today’s meeting agenda from Grandview Partnership, LLC, doing business as Tre Bicchieri. The partnership is seeking a Riverfront District liquor license, which signaled a new owner was stepping forward and would need a new liquor license as the current one is not transferable.

The Glick and DeClue families said in August they had decided to not renew their lease on the Tre Bicchieri building at 425 Washington St., and had planned to close the restaurant Dec. 31 if new owners weren’t found by then.

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Braun and Piotrowski plan to take ownership on New Year’s Day, when the restaurant will be closed as has been its tradition, and open Jan. 2 with the same employees, menu and operation, Braun said.

The restaurant has been a fixture on Washington Street since 2006 and a popular location for family celebrations and business lunches.

Current owners Trevor and Kelly (DeClue) Glick and Kelly’s parents, Kim and Elaine DeClue, described letting go of the restaurant as bittersweet, when they talked about seeking a buyer in August.

Kelly Glick said the family and staff are excited that the restaurant will continue.

“It has been very heart-warming that Chris and Barb liked our restaurant enough that they want to continue as-is,” she said. “We have been showered with love and support from the community. So many customers have told us they are relieved that Tre B will continue on,” she said.

The Glicks and the DeClues said they needed to step away from the restaurant to devote more time to their family, and also to have time to support the DeClues’ son Mac, who has been in clinical trials in Boston for treatment of a brain tumor.

Braun said he and Piotrowski are hoping for the transition to be as seamless as possible.

The changeover during the New Year’s holiday means patrons won’t miss a chance to visit the restaurant and employees will not miss any paychecks in the transition, he said.

Two contingencies remain before sale documents are signed, including acquisition of the liquor license from city and state officials and upgrades that are being sought from the restaurant’s landlord for the 120-year-old building where Tre Bicchieri leases space.

If the restaurant sale proceeds, Braun said the new owners plan to continue Tre Bicchieri’s tradition of adjusting its menu and wine list seasonally.

The name, which is also being retained, means “three glasses” in Italian, and was chosen because of the DeClue family’s love of good wine, said Kim and Elaine DeClue.

Kelly Glick said the family and staff believe the new owners will do a great job with Tre Bicchieri.

“We are excited to see how they will make it their own,” she said. “We can’t wait to come in as customers.”

If you go

What: Columbus Redevelopment Commission

When: 4 p.m. today

Where: Columbus City Hall Council Chambers, 123 Washington St.

About: Redevelopment commission members will consider granting a Riverfront liquor license to Grandview Partnership LLC, which has a pending agreement to purchase Tre Bicchieri, a downtown Italian restaurant at 425 Washington St.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.