20 months after shutting down, One Eyed Jacks is about to be reborn

‘I told him he could keep the name if he wanted it,’ former owner says

The former One Eyed Jacks restaurant and live-music venue — which shut its doors in February 2018 after a decade-long run across from Wright State University in Fairborn — appears headed for a rebirth under its original name.

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Jerrod Kennedy, owner of “OEJ LLC” doing business as One Eyed Jacks Pub, confirmed today that he plans to reopen One Eyed Jacks in its original 2638 Colonel Glenn Highway space, which is located in the University Shoppes retail center next to The Flying Pizza.

“I frequented One Eyed Jacks five or six years ago with friends and was surprised to hear it had closed,” Kennedy told this news outlet via email this morning. “Once I learned I was able to reopen in the same location with the same name, I knew what had to be done.”

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Tim Maly, commercial Realtor and principal at BlackGate, which oversees leasing in the retail center, said a lease has been finalized with Kennedy for the 3,200-square-foot space.

Kennedy said obtaining the liquor license may take three to six months, so the new One Eyed Jacks Pub is still early in its development stage. It will likely open as a restaurant/bar.

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“I'm planning on bringing in a couple local DJs and have a dance floor rather than live bands at this point,” he said. “That's not to say live entertainment is completely off the table. I'm still working out the detail,s but karaoke, bar trivia, big screen TVs, and pool tables are all potentially in the mix.”

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

But how is Kennedy able to keep the former venue’s name?

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We contacted Bill Mangan, co-owner of the Cherry House Cafe in Beavercreek, who said there is no connection between himself and Kennedy, whom Mangan said he has talked to a few times.

“I told him he could keep the name if he wanted it,” Mangan said.

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Under the direction of Mangan, One Eyed Jacks developed a reputation for its variety of sizable pub-style burgers as well as for its live music shows. When the business shut down early last year, Mangan said he was unable to reach a deal on an extension to his lease.

A liquor-license application usually occurs relatively early in the development process of an eating and drinking establishment, and it does not always lead to a business opening, since there are several obstacles, regulatory and financial, that can derail plans for such a business.

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But a finalized lease and naming permission from the previous owner are encouraging signs for the rebirth of One Eyed Jacks.

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