Jade and Ross Johnson, owners of the Kodiak Room event venue on Sussex Avenue in Tenino, are opening up a bar next door in the spot where the Scatter Creek Winery and Brewery used to be …
Jade and Ross Johnson, owners of the Kodiak Room event venue on Sussex Avenue in Tenino, are opening up a bar next door in the spot where the Scatter Creek Winery and Brewery used to be located.
After nearly 17 years in business, Tenino’s Scatter Creek Winery and Brewery closed its doors on Dec. 23, due to health problems the business owner Andrea Keary’s family faced.
The idea for the bar is two-fold, Jade Johnson said. First and foremost, she and her husband want to provide a fun place for people in Tenino to spend time together.
The way they’ve planned the layout of the bar will allow guests from the Kodiak Room to rent out half of the old Scatter Creek building as a private bar for weddings or other special events they’ve rented the Kodiak Room out for.
“In a lot of the buildings in downtown Tenino, there’s these super cool archways that lead into the next building, but they’ve all been closed up and boarded up since everybody buys their own (storefront) since they’re not all owned by the same person,” Jade Johnson said. “But the Kodiak one has two that go into the brewery and the winery. We’re planning to make them fully-functional doors.”
One of the two archways is positioned toward the rear of the building and one is located closer to the street.
The archway near the street will usually remain closed, while the Kodiak Room guests can rent access to the bar through the archway near the rear of the building.
“Basically, where we’re putting our bar, you’ll be able to walk in and see a bar,” Jade Johnson said. “It’ll have a bartop and have all your alcohol, TV, seating tables, everything. Then if you walk around the bar, it’ll be open like a double bar.”
The double bar will separate the main room of the new bar from a fully-functioning backroom bar that can be rented out.
“On the other side it’ll also be a bar, but we’ll have pool tables and make it more loungy, so that if it’s not rented by the Kodiak, people will come in and they can go back there and play pool. You can rent it out for parties, but if it is rented by the Kodiak, we can then open up that old archway door that’s in the back and close it off to the public on the bar side.”
The bar’s backroom will be available for rental by those using the Kodiak room, and they will have access through the old archway into the space, if they rent it.
Kodiak guests will be able to walk between their venue and the rented half of the bar, while the main part of the bar will remain closed off from the rented portion.
“We’re going to put up curtains or doors or something in case it gets rented,” Jade Johnson said. “Then, it becomes a private room on the back side. The public can still walk into the front, have a drink, get some food, but if it’s rented out, you won’t even know or see anybody back there.”
Jade Johnson said she and her husband have always set goals for their lives. Two things they’ve always wanted to make happen was their ownership of a wedding venue and a bar.
“We’re kind of just crossing stuff off of our list, and it kind of just so happened that the building right next door came available and we are just running with it, seeing how it goes,” Jade Johnson said.
She said she wants to run businesses of this type because she’s a “people person.”
“That kind of stuff just lights my soul on fire — like being around people and making people happy and seeing their dreams and hopes come to fruition by things that I provide for them,” she said.
Since the duo thought it would be fun to own a bar, Jade Johnson said it “just made sense” to open the bar in the space directly next to their wedding venue when it became available.
Since Ross Johnson grew up in Tenino, Jade Johnson said the two have a love for the community and want to offer affordable prices.
“Basically, we’re saying you can rent out the bar for this price, and say a couple can only afford $500 for booze,” Jade Johnson said. “They can put that toward booze, and all of their guests can drink for free until that $500 is used up. And then it’s the guest’s responsibility to pick up the tab after that.”
The pie-in-the-sky goal for the business is to open by Independence Day, which is Jade Johnson’s favorite holiday. If they can’t get going by July 4, she said they would like to be up and running by the last week of July, or by Oregon Trail Days.
“We think your business, and our businesses, are reflections of who we are as people,” Jade Johnson said. “And my husband and I are both very patriotic and so we’re hoping to have a very modern-day patriotic bar.”
“I’m super excited,” she said. “It’s fun just to see our own personal goals and dreams come to fruition.”
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