There are only two more days left.
That is what many Jamestown area residents are saying as the anticipation grows for the reopening of The Pub. The longtime Jamestown business will be reopening at 4 p.m. Tuesday. This will be the first time the restaurant and bar has been opened since a poor electrical connection caused a fire that damaged the business in January.
The popular downtown attraction has been open since 1965 when Jim McCusker started the business after retiring from playing in the National Football League. His goal was to provide great service, food and drinks in a friendly atmosphere. The mission to make sure all customers, new and old, leave happy and full has been a success ever since.
Many patrons have only wanted to know the answer to one question since the beginning of the year - "When will The Pub reopen?"
Thanks to the collective collaboration of the family, several Jamestown area businesses, city officials and the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, The Pub has been restored.
Mary McCusker, The Pub co-owner with her husband Jim, and Sammy Lisciandro, The Pub manager, both said without the community's support, they wouldn't have been able to renovate.
"We heard so many times 'It wouldn't be Main Street without The Pub,'" Mary McCusker said. "We can't express how much we appreciate all the support we received from the community. All the support from the customers has encouraged us to keep going."
Lisciandro said without the brave local emergency crews the restaurant and bar wouldn't be reopen this week.
"We want to thank the firefighters and the police. They saved the building," he said. "The community's support has been amazing."
McCusker and Lisciandro said they thank all of the local businesses which were involved in the renovation process. The general contractor was Tim Desmond, owner of TM Desmond Construction. Other businesses that lent their expertise include Amour Construction; C.A. Anderson; D&S Glass; FSC Systems; Hanson Sign; Henry James Big Chief Carpet Land; Jamestown Electric Supply; Jamestown Electro Plating Works; Jamestown Heating and Air; J E Servis Plumbing & Heating Company; Nelson Brothers Lumber; and Service First Electric.
Along with the many businesses involved, McCusker wanted to thank local officials, Vince DeJoy, city development director, and Greg Lindquist, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation executive director.
"The next day right after the fire, both of these gentlemen were here," she said.
Lindquist said more than $350,000 went into renovating the business, with $76,000 from the city, which was used for handicap accessibility in the bathrooms and doorways. The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation through its Downtown Block Cluster Program funded $40,000 for interior reconstruction, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and some of the $40,000 also was toward a sprinkler system and for a new facade for both The Pub and Lisciandro's Restaurant. Lisciandro's, which neighbors The Pub, also sustained damage from the fire but reopened on Jan. 22.
"This was a collaborative effort between (the family), the city and the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation," Lindquist said.
DeJoy added with the new sprinkler system, a fire like the one that occurred in January will never happen again inside the business. He said with new features like historic brick walls, which where uncovered during the renovation process, and a new hand-crafted bar, The Pub will have a new look.
"It is an infusion of historic and new that has given The Pub a fresh look," he said.
DeJoy said the new facade, which hasn't been done yet, will restore The Pub and Lisciandro's to what the outside of the building once looked like in the late 1800s. He said research was done at the Fenton History Center to make the sure the historic design will be accurate.
"There will be new windows, a new sign and a new awning," he said. "We're bringing back the building's historic character."
Lillian Ney, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation board co-chair, said the reopening of The Pub is a wonderful example of collaboration between the McCuskers, City Hall, the JRC and several local businesses.
"By coming together to give this community institution new life, all involved have demonstrated the critical role that partnerships are playing in Jamestown's renaissance," she said.
Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor and Jamestown Renaissance Corporation board co-chair, said he congratulates and compliments all those who have worked so hard, sacrificed so much and invested so generously to make the renovations happen.
"The Pub is back. And that is great news for the McCusker and Lisciandro families, the downtown area and the entire greater Jamestown community," he said. "Again, The Pub is back and thank goodness."
McCusker and Lisciandro said it will be a very emotional reopening following the devastation they observed inside the business following the fire.
"We didn't know what to do or how to do it," McCusker said, with Lisciandro adding, "We didn't know where to start."
However, the family, with all of its supporters, started the uphill task to regenerate one of Jamestown's great landmarks.
"Seeing the customers," McCusker said is what she is looking forward to most about reopening. "We're very fortunate to have such loyal customers."