Johnny’s Tap Room now open

Published 9:44 am Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pattie Stueven saw her business’s potential right as she walked into the building and observed the woodwork, burgundy-colored booths and dim lighting.

“This would make a super sports bar,” she envisioned of the space.

After what she calls “months of sweat and labor,” Stueven opened Johnny’s Tap Room Aug. 5 in Oak Park Mall.

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“The first part of the week was nice,” Stueven said Tuesday. “We got to meet people.”

A Jacksonville, N.C. native and resident of Albert Lea, she has experience managing a bar near St. Peter, Minn. When Stueven was asked to jump on board as manager of a new bar in Austin, she wanted to grab the opportunity. Four people are employed at the sports bar, which is owned by John Howe.

“I couldn’t ask for a better group,” Stueven said. “They’re smart, beautiful … I love working with them.”

Known previously as Fresco Joe’s, Johnny’s Tap Room features a full bar and a selection of finger food — pizza, seasoned french fries and a variety of hot wings and boneless wings with homemade sauces.

The bar has 47-inch TVs, pool tables, dart boards, Golden Tee golf and an Internet jukebox.

Stueven said she is planning for open mic nights and other entertainment in the back room, which has booths and tables surrounding a stage and dance floor.

“I’ve got such big plans for it,” Stueven said. “I want to get everything going. One of these nights I’m going to hit something that works for somebody.”

Johnny’s Tap Room will have a grand opening event soon, said Stueven, who is excited for football season to begin as well. The bar also offers happy hour and daily drink specials — like $2.50 mai tai drinks and half-price appetizers on Mondays.

“Just come on down and get happy,” Stueven said.

Johnny’s Tap Room hours are 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Friday and 11 to 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Entrances are located through the Oak Park Mall main doors and outside the mall on the north side.