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J.O.B. Public House is slated to return by mid-March.
Geoff Pickle | SBJ
J.O.B. Public House is slated to return by mid-March.

J.O.B. Public House to return under new ownership

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A group of downtown business owners are bringing back a bar and restaurant that’s been closed over a year in the city’s urban core.

J.O.B. Public House, 319 E. Walnut St., is now under ownership by Chris and Nicole Brown and Clayton and Anne Baker, said Chris Brown, noting the deal closed Dec. 29. The Browns additionally own The MudLounge and the Bakers run Civil Kitchen, Finnegan's Wake and Tinga Tacos.

The J.O.B. Public House business and building were purchased from the family of Danny Schlink, a restaurateur who died in late 2022, Brown said. He declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal.

"We really loved the culture that Danny and his crew created over the years," Brown said. "We felt like it was an asset to downtown."

Brown said the new owners, organized with the Missouri secretary of state under JOB417 LLC, are targeting a mid-February to mid-March opening for J.O.B. Public House.

Schlink, who incorporated his Grad School concept after its closure into J.O.B. Public House, was known for serving up a selection of whiskey and menu items like the Full Ride burger and chicken “wangs.” Brown said the Full Ride – historically comprising two beef patties joined by cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, lettuce and tomato – would be among returning food items on a scaled-back version of J.O.B. and Grad School’s menu. Whiskey, too, would be among the bar selections.

"We want to be able to execute several items really well," he said.

Brown said the reopening of J.O.B. Public House would fill "a void in downtown" that's existed since the closure.

"We certainly know there's a lot of expectations," he said. "It's been really well received from those who have known. We just hope to deliver on their expectations."

Within the Walnut Street building – which is two doors down from the Browns' MudLounge – Schlink and team also previously operated the Prime Time table tennis bar. Brown said that area of the property would be used as a staging area until concrete plans are formed, and additionally, offices spaces upstairs are slated to be remodeled into rentals.

Brown declined to disclose the business partners' planned investment in the concept. He said some former employees have approached the new owners about coming back on board.

The Springfield Daily Citizen was first to report about J.O.B. Public House's reopening.

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