BELOIT ï¿½ Fresh food, great customer service and live music are the pillars of Joseph Jensenï¿½s business plan.
A native of the Wisconsin Dells area, Jensen is to soon open his very first restaurant, Game On Bar and Grill, 443 E. Grand Ave. in downtown Beloit. Heï¿½s betting everything he has on the triple-play master plan.
“I am going all in on this,” Jensen said. “Itï¿½s scary, but there really isnï¿½t a reason this place shouldnï¿½t be successful...Beloit has done a lot downtown, and itï¿½s always busy.”
Jensen decided to buy the former Rivalï¿½s location two months ago. Although becoming a restaurant and bar owner was not something he had planned on, the Direct TV worker said he saw the opportunity present itself, and had to take it.
“My focus is not going to be on alcohol here, because weï¿½re really going to offer great food options,” Jensen said. “I donï¿½t want this place to ï¿½just be another barï¿½ in town.”
Sister Kelly Potts, who has many years of restaurant experience and ran a successful bar in Reedsburg, has helped Jensen learn the business.
Potts will be the general manager at Game On Bar and Grill. She and Jensen have both moved to Beloit and are committed to working full-time at the restaurant. They plan to have 10 to 15 employees working at the location for lunch and dinner service.
“Weï¿½re really hoping to bring something different to Beloit,” Potts said of her goals.
Two chefs ï¿½ Bobby Hamilton, of Rockford, and Nic Holm, of Delavan ï¿½ have been working this week to develop unique recipes that they think Stateline Area residents will love.
The duo says they will not serve up “typical bar food” that is frozen and then deep fried. Everything will be made using fresh ingredients.
“Weï¿½re going to have a fun dish that involves tater tots being played up like sushi,” Hamilton said. “Weï¿½ll also have a play on poutine.”
Wings, beer-battered bacon, stout chili, sandwiches, fresh hand-breaded cheese curds and more also will be offered.
Weekly specials will allow the chefs, and customers, to stay
excited about what theyï¿½ll find at Game On Bar and Grill.
Jensen said something he is most looking forward to is developing relationships and partnering up with Farmers Market vendors.
“Weï¿½re starting with a small fresh menu and we hope to eventually expand to include breakfast service,” he said.
An official opening date for Game On Bar and Grill is yet to be determined, but Jensen hopes to have the business running in the next few weeks.
During the Grand Holiday Lighted Parade on Nov. 26, Jensen and the chefs will make up a variety of finger foods and invite the public to stop by.
“On Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. we also will be having our first live music performance, by the Jacob Martin Band,” Jensen said. “I love music, so plan to have national country, classic rock and blues bands come in.”
A few finishing touches and some paperwork is still left to be completed before opening, but Jensen said he is optimistic all will be finished quickly. He is nervous, but also very excited, about the opportunities that await.
“The City of Beloit has been just great to work with on this and weï¿½re looking forward to complimenting the businesses that are already here in downtown,” he said. “Weï¿½re going to be another great dining option.”