After a few weeks of being closed for remodeling, JAC’s Bar & Grill in Chatfield, Minn., will soon be opening with new owners behind the tap and in the kitchen.
Jamie and Robin Arthur of Rochester, Minn., purchased the business on July 10, 2017, and have been busy making changes and improvements since.
When asked why they bought the business, Robin stated, “He’s always talked about owning a restaurant,” adding that JAC’s was a nice “package deal” with the bar included.
Although Jamie has dreamed of opening a restaurant for a long time, the decision to buy JAC’s happened quickly. Jamie and a friend, who drive a RAGBRAI bus called “Return of the Robin,” stopped at JAC’s in late May with some of the RAGBRAI bicyclists and when Jamie learned that the business was for sale, he got excited to say the least.
Jamie returned home and said, “Let’s buy a bar,” says Robin and they got the ball rolling to purchase the building and the business.
Jamie is originally from Hutchinson, Minn., and Robin from Litchfield, Minn. The couple moved their family to Rochester, Minn., in 1997 as Jamie had an employment opportunity in Rochester.
The couple have three children including Brittany, 22, Austin, 20, and Carson, 14, who are just as excited as their parents about the family’s new business.
There will be some changes at JAC’s but the name will remain the same. The new owners have created a new logo of their own for the business, however.
Previous customers will notice several changes when they walk in the door as there have been new bathrooms added, including an ADA unisex restroom with a diaper changing station.
New carpet, tile and other flooring has really freshened up the look of the interior of the building, as does the new paint on the walls.
The dining room has been “opened up for more seating,” states Robin, and booths, which came from the former Wicked Moose Bar & Grill in Rochester, have replaced the tables and chairs in JAC’s dining room.
Several large televisions have been placed throughout JAC’s Bar & Grill, so no matter where a customer sits they can watch their favorite show or sports event if they choose.
A new dishwashing area, a new waitress station, and a new office area have also been added, which will help keep everything running smoothly.
The back room will be a youth area, states Robin, saying, “They can hang out back there,” whether it’s after school, after a sports event, or while at JAC’s with their parents.
As Jamie is a journeyman plumber and has a lot of other experience, he is acting as the general contractor on the remodeling project and doing much of the work himself, along with knowledgeable friends. Several local contractors are also doing great work in the building.
“We have so many wonderful people helping behind the scenes,” says Robin, including “a lot of awesome staff” members who have been working hard deep-cleaning in order to have the place in tip-top shape when they open the doors.
There will be changes to the food menu at JAC’s as well. The addition of a pizza kitchen will make kids and adults happy, as pizza is an overwhelmingly popular meal choice for many people.
Jamie managed a Pizza Hut in Hutchinson for approximately seven years and “he knows how to make a pizza,” states Robin. The couple are hoping to have pizza delivery available by fall and will then have an online ordering option as well.
“We want to make it convenient for people,” comments Robin, whether they eat in, take out, or have it delivered.
A new salad bar will also be available with fresh and delicious items to compliment a customer’s meal or to have as a light meal by itself.
Since Robin eats a gluten-free diet, she knows the importance of having those options and hopes to offer a few gluten-free items to the menu. “We are going to try to bring in gluten-free stuff but we are not going to be certified,” she explains. Robin states they will do whatever they can do to accommodate those who are gluten-free.
JAC’s will not be serving breakfast at first as, “We need to get our bearings,” states Robin, and then they will assess whether they want to begin serving light breakfasts.
The daily specials at JAC’s Bar & Grill are as follows: Monday – buy one burger get one free, Tuesday – tacos, Wednesday – wings, Thursday – ladies night, Friday – fish fry, Saturday – steak special, and Sunday – pizza buffet.
JAC’s Bar & Grill plans to have entertainment every weekend including local bands, DJs and Karaoke for customers to enjoy.
Robin states they have had great support and help from many people, including their dear friends Dave Wilson and Lisa Raskin. “Without them we would not have been able to purchase the building,” notes Robin.
The community support has been overwhelming as, “We have been so welcomed by people – it’s so heartwarming,” Robin says.
Jamie and Robin are also appreciative for the support given to them by former owners Jeff and Candi Hare, who helped make the transition a smooth one.
JAC’s can seat up to 40 people in the back room if you have a family gathering, birthday party, or other celebration coming up.
JAC’s Bar & Grill will have their “soft” opening on Monday, August 7, 2017, and will officially open the doors of the business on Tuesday, August 8, so they will be open for Chatfield’s Western Days celebration. A grand opening will be held at a later date.
“I’m so excited about this,” states Robin, as is the rest of the family, their friends and area residents.
Business hours are Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
JAC’s Bar & Grill is located at 129 S. Main St. in Chatfield. For more information phone (507) 867-3939, visit jacsbargrill.com or go to the business facebook page at facebook.com/jacsbarandgrill.