Johnny's Hall of Fame on Court Ave. to Undergo Major Renovations
DES MOINES, Iowa (December 27, 2007) – Hubbell Realty Company announced today that Johnny’s Hall of Fame on Court Avenue in downtown Des Moines will close on January 1 for approximately two months in order to undergo major renovations. The restaurant and bar has been a staple in downtown Des Moines for 45 years. When Johnny’s reopens in March, patrons will notice some major changes: a modernized interior that remains faithful to the traditional sports bar theme, new big screen televisions throughout, and windows replacing air conditioning units on the building’s eastern side. Architect Greg Wattier of GE Wattier Architects took the lead on updating the building’s look and feel, including the exterior, which will fit in more with the surrounding buildings. Hubbell purchased Johnny’s Hall of Fame in May 2006 while developing the apartments located upstairs. “With all of the positive changes happening in the Court Avenue District, we knew that the time was right to give Johnny’s a makeover,” said Hubbell Realty Company president and CEO Rick Tollakson. “We hope to see everyone at the grand reopening celebration in March.” The Court Avenue District has undergone a renaissance in the last two years with the construction of 51 rental apartments, Court Avenue Lofts, above Johnny’s and 52 more, MarketPlace Lofts, set to open in January next door on the corner of 4th Street and Court Avenue. The 4th Street Condos will open in the spring, bringing 46 more condominiums for sale to downtown. Johnny’s first opened in 1962 as a key club called Johnny’s Interlude Lounge located at 219 4th Street. By 1972, the place was renamed Johnny’s Hall of Fame and the place was decorated with 4,400 pictures of members of nearly every sport’s Hall of Fame. The collection, which included documentation and photographs since 1772, were all but destroyed in a 1989 fire at its current location.