Jack & Johnny’s owners cleaning out the old Making way for planned restaurant with weekend sale.
A piece of Jack & Johnny’s history – or maybe Bernie Sanders’ campaign workers’ – could be yours.
The new owners of the former tavern at 1137 N. Wells St. are having a sale 11 a.m.-6 p.m. through Sunday as they clear out the last of the items left behind from the building’s former lives. They want to get going with refurbishing the place into a restaurant that serves “adult beverages” with eventually a rooftop space.
The place served as home of Jack & Johnny’s for decades before it had to close in 2008 under ownership of the second generation. It briefly provided a headquarters for the local Bernie Sanders presidential campaign leading up to the 2016 race.
Christina Mills and her husband, Jeff Witcher, have pulled up from the basement items that they’re selling or trying to find a home for, including a glass display case, children’s games, chairs, a barbecue chimney smoker, and a “Jaws” wall ornament similiar to a singing Big Mouth Billy Bass.
Two treasures that made their way to original co-owner Johnny Pence’s daughter are drawings of her father and her uncle, the other co-owner, Jack Humbrecht, that she’d been told were destroyed or extremely damaged. Mills and Witcher were pictured with the drawings in a photo with a story about the plans for the new restaurant that appeared in early May in The News-Sentinel.
The couple have experience in the restaurant business and have the rights to retain the Jack & Johnny’s name. They’ve also been in contact with longtime customers, who still hold reunions to remember the place with the motto, where “the customer is never right.” Mills and Witcher plan to serve some of Jack & Johnny’s popular menu items, including the chisam chicken made with chicken, Swiss cheese and ham on a bun. They hope to host the customer reunion later this month at the restaurant.