The new owners of Cartoons Oyster Bar & Grill are rebranding the restaurant and entertainment venue after investing several hundred thousand dollars into renovations.
Mark Schwien, who bought the 30-year-old, 9,600-square-foot 1614 S. Glenstone Ave. venue with wife Teresa Chism in November, said Cartoons officially will launch on July 27 as Krave Seafood & Oyster Bar. Declining to disclose the couple’s investment, Schwien said signage changes have been made along with renovations that include new exterior and interior elements, such as roof repairs, a completely remodeled kitchen, and a new sound system for its music room now called the Krave Xtreme Party Lounge with a capacity of 600. The old system was moved outside, where bands also play for a patio crowd that seats 100.
“Cartoons has been a staple in Springfield. We all grew up in there, so to speak,” said Schwien, who also owns Friend's Karaoke Pub on West Battlefield Road with Chism. “It was just time for a change, because the only people that were coming in there were driven by entertainment.”
Schwien designed the new menu that will still focus on oysters but add more seafood, including lobster, salmon, shrimp and scallops.
“Most of our food, not all of it, is prepared fresh,” he said.
Schwien and Chism are the latest in a series of owners since founders Gary and Rae Lynn Summers sold to investor-owners Steve Crawford and Bill Brayman in 2003. The most recent owner, Adam Kaltenbach
, bought Cartoons in 2006.
“It’s being ran like a business now by owners who are hands on rather than owners who are hands off,” Schwien said. “A lot of money’s been spent to turn it around into a nice venue instead of a junk venue.”