WATERTOWN — Maggie’s on the River's second floor will soon reopen with a new bar area featuring a brick pizza oven and some renovations in the bar and restaurant that overlooks the Black River.

Partners Jake Johnson and Tyler Bartlett purchased Maggie’s back in May. The bar/restaurant, 500 Newell St., has been undergoing renovations since last February, including adding a custom-made brick oven to a new bar area on the second floor.

The new owners hope to reopen Maggie’s in about two or three weeks.

It’s the first time that the two men have ventured into the food industry. In recent years, Mr. Johnson, one of the community’s prolific property owners, has gobbled up dozens of properties in and around downtown, while Mr. Bartlett owns a plumbing business and the CanAm raceway. They also own some property together.

“It’s a very popular establishment and we’re happy to have an opportunity to purchase it,” Mr. Bartlett said.

Mr. Johnson said it was another way to be involved in the community.

They purchased the business and property from Reginald J. Schweitzer Jr. and Thomas Schultz.

While the first floor bar and restaurant and third-floor banquet room underwent some sprucing up, the new owners are pleased with the way the new second-floor bar is shaping up.

They’re investing about $32,000 to install the copper brick oven, custom made by a California company, Forno & Bravo. The room will feature bench seating along two walls and high-top tables.

The new barroom also will serve local products, including pizza dough from Alteri’s, local wines and beers and other items from the north country, kitchen manager Josh Dominic said.

“It’s another restaurant within a restaurant,” he said.

The pizza menu will include between seven and nine different pizzas, including bringing back Maggie’s popular duck bacon pizza. Heating up to 800 degrees, the brick oven makes pizzas in three minutes.

The full menu for the restaurant will feature monthly specials.

The restaurant’s bottoms up beer tap system is new to the area, Mr. Johnson said.

The tap system actually fills beer in cups from the bottom up.

It works with a custom cup that has a metal rimmed hole at the bottom which is sealed by a magnet. When placed on the dispenser, the nozzle lifts the magnet and the cup fills to a pre-programmed amount. All 56 taps at Maggie’s will use the bottoms up method.

With the new bar room creating six to eight new jobs, Maggie’s will employ between 46 and 48 workers.

Both the banquet room and new bar will offer private parties

The renovation project has been delayed by the nation’s supply chain, caused by the pandemic.

“COVID has been a challenge,” Mr. Dominic said.

Due to a reporter's error, an earlier version of this story misstated the portion of the restaurant that had been closed since February. It was only the newly constructed second floor bar area that was closed.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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