New businesses popping up in Watertown

WWNY New businesses popping up in Watertown

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - There may be a pandemic, but new businesses are sprouting up in Watertown in buildings that have been vacant for a while.

One man’s Club No. 9 is another man’s Bad Apple Saloon!

Shannon Exford owns two Bad Apple restaurants in the north country. She says the site of the old nightclub was perfect for her new restaurant vision.

“This Apple will have more of a wild west theme. Obviously the same apple colors, some of the same menu items, and common theme, but should be a little more fun,” she said.

She says the saloon will be serving up vittles and spirits around Halloween.

Club No. 9 isn’t the only former bar to turn into an eatery. Club Rio on Franklin Street will soon become a cafe and bagel shop.

The former club was shut down in 2018 after a shooting and nothing has been done with it since.

But Watertown businessman Jake Johnson bought the building two weeks ago. He says it’s still a good building with great potential.

Across the street, Bare Knuckles Tattoo employees say they’re happy to see something done with the property.

“Once the shooting happened, it was just gone and nothing happened and there was not a lot of footwork, not a lot of business coming here. Now that I hear there’s a bagel and coffee shop coming here, I’m really excited,” said Luke Running, tattoo artist.

Johnson says the coffee shop should be ready to open in about six months.

Around the corner on State Street, another cafe is already in the works.

The old Gibson’s Laundry building will soon become Starch Cafe and it’s Instagram page says it will be coming soon.

Three old buildings getting three new starts.

“I really think there’s a lot of places that can be successful during these times; it’s just a matter of tenacity and bravery,” said Exford.

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