Rockin venue

T.J.’s ready to make lo­cal mu­si­cal im­pact

The Covington News - - BUSINESS - By Rachel Oswald

Af­ter a rous­ing start this past week­end host­ing the cham­ber’s an­nual beach party, T.J.’s Rockin Coun­try Bar and Grill is ready to open its doors to the pub­lic this week­end.

T.J.’s op­er­a­tions man­ager Terry John­son said he wants reg­u­larly to see the bar’s con­cert hall filled as it was for the Cov­ing­ton/New­ton County Cham­ber of Com­merce’s beach party which fea­tured The Tams and The Drifters who played to a sold-out au­di­ence of ap­prox­i­mately 700 peo­ple Satur­day night.

With south­ern rock leg­ends Molly Hatchet al­ready booked to per­form this Fri­day evening, it cer­tainly looks like the good times will con­tinue to roll. Other acts com­ing to T.J.’s — lo­cated on Old City Pond Road — in the near fu­ture in­clude funk rock band Mother’s Finest on Sept. 14.

John­son — who has fif­teen years ex­pe­ri­ence man­ag­ing bars — said he plans on hav­ing big name bands per­form on Fri­day nights with ad­di­tional live acts per­form­ing on Thurs­days and Satur­days. Wed­nes­day will be disco night with pa­trons en­cour­aged to dress in their retro finest.

“I want to keep this ex­cit­ing for ev­ery­body,” John­son said.

Ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tions to the build­ing, which for­merly housed a skat­ing rink and a bar with a sim­i­lar sound­ing name, have left it un­rec­og­niz­able from its for­mer self.

“The only thing that is old is the disco ball (a sil­ver be­he­moth which still hangs from the ceil­ing in the con­cert hall),” John­son said. “Ev­ery­thing else is new.”

T.J.’s fea­tures a full-ser­vice sports bar and grill at the front of the build­ing serv­ing ham­burg­ers, wings, sal­ads, que­sadil­las, etc. all day, seven days a week. With four 50 inch and three 42 inch plasma tele­vi­sions soon to be in­stalled around the bar, pa­trons are sure to see some­thing they like on at least one screen. Dur­ing big game nights John­son said he plans on set­ting up a large pro­jec­tion screen in the con­cert hall.

Lo­cated in the back of the build­ing, T.J.’s cav­ernous con­cert hall fea­tures a large stage area, a dance floor, a DJ’s booth and a wrap­around inside deck which af­fords pa­trons an ex­cel­lent view of the dancers and per­form­ers on the ground floor be­low.

With four bars (two 40-foot bars down­stairs, one 25-foot bar up­stairs and a large cir­cu­lar bar in the restau­rant area) pa­trons won’t have to wait long to get a drink at T.J.’s. Though at­ten­dees at the cham­ber bash had to bring their own bev­er­ages, John­son said he ex­pects to have his liquor li­cense by Fri­day.

On nights when the con­cert hall is open (Wed­nes­day through Satur­day) John­son said he will have two uni­formed po­lice of­fi­cers out­side the build­ing and hostesses inside the build­ing work­ing to en­sure that ev­ery­one is hav­ing a good time.

With room for more than 700 peo­ple in the con­cert hall, T.J.’s Rockin Coun­try is some­thing new to New­ton County which has never had a bar of this size be­fore. How­ever, John­son said he thinks the county is ready to em­brace an es­tab­lish­ment such as his.

“I want to change it for the good and not for the bad,” said John­son of the county’s nightlife. “There’s plenty of room here for ev­ery­body.”

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

Cen­ter stage: TJ’s Rockin Coun­try Bar and Grill Op­er­a­tions Man­ager Terry John­son proudly sits on the stage in the ex­pan­sive Con­cert Hall por­tion of his newly opened Cov­ing­ton es­tab­lish­ment Tues­day.

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