JB’s Poised For May Opening

Sports Bar To Occupy Former Space Of Bill Bateman’s Bistro

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Severna Park has several upscale restaurants that make an ideal destination for celebrating anniversaries or for meeting friends after a day at the office. Coming soon to the Park Plaza shopping center, JB’s promises a different experience.

“JB’s has more of a casual sports bar environment, with 40-plus TVs,” said Greg Keating, a managing partner with 206 Restaurant Group. “It will have a little more energy, a little more of a fun vibe.”

JB’s is part of the 206 Restaurant Group, which also includes Park Tavern in Severna Park, Donnelly’s Dockside in Arnold, Pratt Street Ale House in Baltimore, Five and Dime Ale House in Hampden, Oliver Brewing Company in Baltimore, and The Ale House in Columbia.

“Park Tavern is a place where you might bring your kids before a movie or after school,” Keating said. “With JB’s, you’re going to bring your kid after soccer practice.”

Keating, along with business partners Justin Dvorkin and Don Kelly, expects to open JB’s at the former site of Bill Bateman’s Bistro on Ritchie Highway by late May, barring any unforeseen setbacks. That may come as welcome news to anyone who saw the JB’s signs go up in July 2020 and have been patiently waiting to visit the new restaurant.

The restaurant’s slogan is “Bites. Brews. Ballgames. Just Because.” Keating and 206 Restaurant Group spent more than a year crafting the menu.

“It is smash burgers with double patties, cooked crispy with melted cheese,” Keating said. “There will be more wing sauces [than Park Tavern] and boneless wings. It will be a fun, playful menu.”

Some craft beer will be on tap, but domestic beer will be a bigger focus.

“We see this as more of a Bud Light crowd,” Keating said.

The ownership group sees their restaurant as filling a need in the area. Greater Severna Park and Arnold Chamber of Commerce CEO Liz League agrees.

“We are so excited to welcome a new sports bar to the family of eateries in Severna Park,” League said. “This new restaurant, put on hold for so long due to the pandemic, has been beautifully renovated and is ready for sports fans and family fun. It will bring more jobs to the community and will be another great dining option.”

The community has been supportive of 206 Restaurant Group since Park Tavern’s opening in 2014 and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re blown away by the level of support,” Keating said. “Severna Park has been outstanding to us.”

The best way to repay the community is through top-notch service, he said.

“Our main focus has always been service, from management on down,” he said. “That does not mean that we never make mistakes, but we learn from them and correct them.”

As patrons anticipate dining at JB’s for the first time, Keating said there is little concern about stealing business from Park Tavern.

“If a family is coming to JB’s or Park Tavern, we’re happy about that,” he said. “There are definitely good dining options in the area and we’re presenting one more alternative. It has its own niche. Most of the restaurants in the area are sophisticated and we’re more casual.”

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