Congratulations and best of luck to Kurt Johnson, owner of Shawbucks, on the renovation of his weekend night spot in downtown Jamestown to add a full restaurant as well, essentially, a sports bar area.
Johnson has run Shawbucks successfully the past 16 years as a quality night spot with live entertainment and light fare just across the way from our plant on West Second Street. Shawbucks is also right across the street from the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.
As you know, the arena attracts crowds of visitors to events throughout hockey season year after year as well as people attending special events all year round. Johnson decided the time is right to expand the offerings at his business to include a dining room and menu appropriate for the whole family as well as an area with a nightclub atmosphere.
''I felt there was an opportunity for an upscale nightclub and restaurant on the west end,'' he said ''... We're going to try to cater more to the patrons of the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena by offering a more family-oriented atmosphere. Eventually we plan on doing lunches and dinners in our new dining room that seats about 45. But we wanted it to be a place for both families and local professionals to enjoy."
The renovation took three months. Johnson said Shawbucks will have lunches and dinners in the new dining room eventually but for now is continuing with happy hour Thursday and Friday and live entertainment on Saturday evening.
"Right now we're having a soft opening to showcase what we've completed," Johnson told The Post-Journal. "Hopefully within the next couple of weeks we will begin running Tuesday through Saturday specials. And we're looking at six to eight weeks before we're 100 percent up and running. But people can come enjoy our wings, food and atmosphere right now."
It seems to us that everyone who supported the concept of a major ice skating arena as an economic development initiative on the west end of Third Street more than a decade ago should share in the congratulations. The expansion of Kurt Johnson's business is the latest in the list of investments and developments that have come about because the ice arena was built right there in downtown Jamestown.
So kudos to all of you, too, for keeping the faith.