Jacksons bar, restaurant reopens after redo

Rick Shrum
Observer Reporter

Jacksons Bar+Restaurant reopened following a three-month renovation.

The 15-year-old nightspot and meeting place, adjacent to the Hilton Garden Inn at Southpointe, was back in business Sunday, 84 days after closing for a rehab that was largely cosmetic.

“We’re very pleased with how everything has turned out,” said Marcus Piatt, president of Millcraft Hospitality, a branch of Washington-based Millcraft Investments, builder and owner of the Cecil Township facility. He also is president of Tenant Construction Services, which oversaw the project.

The 5,000-square-foot restaurant closed Jan. 17. Piatt said the motivation behind the upgrade was to attract new customers while, at the same time, accommodating tastes of regulars. Jacksons’ menu remains seasonal.

While leading a late March mini-tour, Piatt said the main feature of the new Jacksons is the hard, composite floor surface that replaced carpeting throughout. Tones, textures, wall veneers and paint colors changed, kitchen equipment was upgraded and all tables, chairs and soft seating were replaced.

Back lighting gives the bar a fresh, bright look, and long light fixtures were installed in the large dining room. That room and an adjacent meeting room, combined, seat about 170.

Seating for about 50 is available on the patio during the warm-weather months. There also will be live music outdoors from 7 to 10 p.m. every Friday starting May 6. Piatt said there were plans for a hard roof over the patio, but they were “nixed” and a new canopy was installed instead.

He estimated the project’s cost at $400,000, the largest outlay being for furniture.

Though out of commission, Jacksons was still in business during construction. It served lunch and dinner at the Garden Grill in the Garden Inn, which is also owned by Millcraft. The Garden Grill is back to serving only cooked-to-order breakfasts, after providing all three meals during the redo.

“We probably maintained 60 percent of the revenue we normally do,” Piatt said. “The main dip was in the bar, because we do a strong bar business (inside Jacksons).”

Lisa Surmacz, an interior designer at Millcraft, created the new look and LS Renovations of Washington was the general contractor. Dave Rose is general manager of the restaurant.

For Millcraft Hospitality, it is one project down, one to go in that immediate vicinity. Piatt said his company plans a $1.5 million renovation of the 175 guest rooms and 20,000 square feet of meeting space at the Garden Inn, to begin later this year and end next spring. The lobby was renovated in 2015.