The Clark’s new Clark’s
JACKSONTOWN – Jessica Clark recently had the sad job of telling a patron of the former Clark’s Restaurant in Jacksontown that the old place shut down more than a year ago, even though its doors were open.
“Somebody wanted to eat, and just came right in,” she said. Jessica and her husband, Tom, are in the process of transforming the old Clark’s Restaurant, known for its fried chicken, into Crossroads, a new sports bar and grill slated to open early next year.
Tom said it’s a complete coincidence that he shares a name with Tom Clark, Clark’s former owner. “Everybody thinks we’re related,” he said. They’re not. Tom and Jessica, who live in Brownsville, had dined at the former Clark’s, but until they purchased the building they’d never met the former owners.
Tom, who works for AT&T, and Jessica, who works in radiology, have devoted their nights and weekends to chasing their dream of opening a restaurant. “We’ve thought about it for years,” said Tom. He and his wife thought the building, at the crossroads of US 40 and Ohio 13, was a prime location. “I’ve realized how much traffic there is going by here,” said Tom.
Those familiar with the former Clark’s will barely recognize the place as Crossroads. The interior has been nearly completely gutted and the old pink exterior will sport a rustic look with large beams and a covered outdoor dining area.
Tom said the former owners were in favor of the building being completely changed. (Former owner Tom Clark) didn’t want it to be like the old Clark’s,” he said. “We got that vibe.” He said Clark’s used to serve the former owner’s grandmother’s fried chicken recipe, which should stay with the former owners. The new Clarks increased the structure’s dining area by 500 square feet and added the covered patio to increase seating capacity even further during the warm months. There will be plenty of flat screens all around the dining area so patrons won’t miss their favorite sporting events while dining on “specialty sandwiches, bar food, and pizza,” said Tom. Crossroads will also feature beer and a full bar.
Jessica and her husband have experience operating a business, but they haven’t operated a tavern previously. She said they’ll hire experienced help, which shouldn’t prove too difficult considering the interest people have already shown in working at Crossroads once it opens. “Every day people drop off resumes or inquire,” said Jessica.
For now, Tom doesn’t anticipate needing to expand parking beyond what it’s been. “Clark’s did it for 90 years,” he said.
“I’ve had my eyes on that spot,” said Jodi Miller, member services coordinator for the Buckeye Lake Region Chamber of Commerce, who looks forward to welcoming the Clarks into the lake area business community personally. “I’ll be the first person at their door.” Miller said she’s been working on a shop locally campaign, particularly during the holidays, to convince residents to shop, dine, and relax in the Buckeye Lake Area. Miller said many new Buckeye Lake area businesses and beyond join the chamber not only to network, but also to take advantage of the chamber’s group health insurance plan.