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Bad Apple Downtown to have soft opening Thursday

in Food/Local Business 669 views

A new business will be opening their doors in the heart of downtown Watertown on Thursday.

Owner of Bad Apple, Shannon Exford Donato confirmed that a soft opening for the Bad Apple Downtown is planned for Thursday. The location will be the old Spokes on the Square.

Spokes closed in December 2023 when owner Jamie Danielson moved out of the state.

Bad Apple Downtown will be a “Times Square meets Public Square sort of thing,” Donato said.

Donato owns four other Bad Apples, one on Arsenal Street in Watertown called “Bad Apple Saloon,” one on Washington Street in Watertown titled “Bad Apple Garage,” another on Blue Street in Glenfield named “Wicked Bad Apple,” and one close to Fort Drum named Bravo Alpha Delta (BAD) Apple, among other “Bad Apple” business ventures.

Around 10 people will be employed at the Public Square location.

The soft opening will feature a full bar and menu.

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Ives Hill Country Club reopens

in Local Business 85 views

A festive sign next to the lengthy dining room bar says it all: Welcome to Ives Hill Country Club.

Over the weekend, Ives Hill Country Club reopened to more than 600 invited guests to celebrate the restaurant’s return after it was idle for nearly four years.

Developer Jake Johnson, who purchased the nine-hole golf course, clubhouse and restaurant, couldn’t have been more pleased with the way things went with the reopening.

“It ended up much better than I anticipated,” Johnson said Tuesday after the three-day soft opening. “I’ve never been so appreciative than this past weekend. It just shows how great of a community we have.”

The restaurant subsequently opened to the public on Sunday and Monday. It it closed for a private party today but will be serving its first lunch on Friday.

This winter, the restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Monday. Once the golf course opens in the spring, it will operate seven days a week.

The restaurant is focusing on customer service and quality products in a comfortable setting where friends and family can gather, Johnson said.

The menu features a varied choice of appetizers, salads, flatbreads, sandwiches, burgers and entrees. He said guests over the weekend complimented “The Chop,” a tomahawk pork chop marinated in rosemary and garlic, and Ribeye Clubhouse selections.

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Bar and tanning salon opening on Arsenal Street

in Local Business 313 views

WATERTOWN — If you ever wanted to have a beer when you went tanning, there’ll soon be a place for you.

Shannon M. Exford, owner of The Bad Apple Garage and the Bad Apple Saloon, is opening a tanning salon that will serve beer, hard cider and wine.

The venture will be located at 300 Arsenal St. in a building at Arsenal and Massey streets that also houses a Chinese takeout and a sushi place.

The tanning salon will feature a variety of tanning equipment, including six tanning beds, a stand-up tanning bed and an automated tanning spray machine. Massage Therapy and other related services also will be offered.

Ms. Exford, who also owns One Solution CPA., has operated a tanning salon before.

Although he doesn’t know much about tanning businesses, Donald W. Rutherford, CEO of the Watertown Local Development Corp., also known as the Watertown Trust, described Ms. Exford as an experienced businesswoman and restaurateur.

“She’s done well with restaurants so I think she will be successful,” he said.

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New bar and grill at a former oil-change business serves up humor, sarcasm

in Local Business 507 views

WATERTOWN — Don’t fret if a server at a new Washington Street bar and grill puts a hat on you and makes fun that you’re not a perfect customer.

Shannon M. Exford, owner of The Bad Apple Garage, just wants to make her new restaurant a fun place to go.

“Sarcasm and humor” are served up with the menu at the new bar and grill, located in a former oil change business at 1120 Washington St., she said.

Humorous signs are displayed around the bar that once was the location of garage bays for the former Fast Lube of Watertown.

The Bad Apple Garage opened on Tuesday.

The bar takes on a repair garage motif. The interior features red and white colors for a reason; they were prominently displayed on the old Fast Lube business, she said.

Miss Exford — who owns two other restaurants and bars, The Bad Apple Saloon on Arsenal Street and The Wicked Bad Apple in Glenfield — had no intentions of opening a third restaurant.

She planned on starting a catering business as a spin-off for her restaurants. But before she knew it, The Bad Apple Garage was what she ended up with.

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